Dries Van Noten AW17: Look and learn

Dries van Noten AW17OK. The original plan was to write a review of the Saint Laurent collection because I’ve spent most of this week quite liking it. But as each day goes by I like it less. Yeah, there are some great shearling pieces and some knock ‘em dead daywear. But those mini dresses with just one scarily large single shoulder? Nah. The Richard III as a pole dancer look isn’t really my thing.

dvn-2Of course it doesn’t help me feel any more positive to a collection when designers who really know how to do it come along and seem to effortlessly put together a group of pieces that may not have  grand concept behind them but still look good.

So this YSL review is actually a DVN review. That’s Dries Van Noten. Showing yesterday, he should have strung a huge banner across there runway saying “look and learn”. But he didn’t. He just gave us clothes that a lot of women who are a) over the age of 21 and b) more than a size zero could wear. And with Marni’s new boy not quite having found his feet yet, there’s a desperate need for that.

Dries van Noten AW17That kind of ultra-wearability is perhaps all the more surprising because Van Noten is a man. That kind approach is one found more often among female designers. But you only had to look at all the street style regular outside the shows, carrying off their DVN coats with ease to see just how wearable his output is. And all that without the backing of a deep-pocketed luxury giant behind him.

Dries van Noten AW17So what did he give us for AW17? Look away if you’re a fan of Balmain or Anthony Vaccarello.

For his 100th show, we didn’t get an endless array of key items but a more edited selection that still looked like a big deal. We got a mix of volume, masculine-influenced silhouettes and key items with a sporty edge. Vital to the whole thing was an immersion in print and pattern, much of it reworked from Van Noten’s own archive. Botanicals, geometrics, and Japanese prints, plus textural and embellishment effects used to support pattern (quilting, two-tone lamé, sequins, fur sleeves et al).

Dries van Noten AW17The cover-all coat was king (or should that be queen?) over gently tapered loose pants or jeans, as was a slim but not restrictive skirt, a body skimming dress with ruched detail, or a tunic sweater. It was as simple as that.

The line-up of past and present supermodels who happily walked the runway (Carolyn Murphy, Liya Kebede, Alek Wek, Nadja Auermann, Cecelia Chancellor, Trish Goff and more) underlined the broad appeal of everything Dries Van Noten does.

Just like Dolce & Gabbana’s show in Milan at the weekend, it felt like a designer brimming with confidence. Saint Laurent? Pah!

Dries van Noten AW17

Dries van Noten AW17

Dries van Noten AW17

Dries van Noten AW17

Dries van Noten AW17

One thought on “Dries Van Noten AW17: Look and learn

  1. It actually amazes me that people actually get paid for designing the sort of glam trash that was the Yves Saint Laurent show with it’s repetitive silhouettes, total lack of colour or pattern direction and really just more of the same Vaccarello gave us last season. Namely a seeming obsession with one-shouldered, thigh-high dresses and weird ruched sleeves. I think we can expect to see those doors at the House start revolving any day soon.


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