You hear that sizzling sound? That is the Dries Van Noten show — on fire. This collection was smoking hot. Only in the nimble mind of Van Noten could such disparate elements like a fireman’s coat, Scottish regimental trews, wrap around skirts, obi belts and exquisite Eastern-inspired hammered silver embellishment come together to create a show that burned with exotic beauty.
This was a rich, full-bodied collection that, through light layering of leggings under easy board shorts, or wrap skirts on top of trousers and shirts in dark moody prints, all pulled together with highly ornate outerwear, became a sartorial lesson in controlled refinement.
Nothing was out of place or left to chance. Even with all the beading and embroidery, the designer kept the collection feeling manly as well as exceedingly elegant. He cleverly undercut the rugged style of a fireman’s coat by using bands of glossy grosgrain ribbon that just happen to look like a woodgrain finish. His relaxed slouchy suits had just the perfect hint of silk pajama to them. While quilted silk jackets, designed to suggest the luxe lining of outerwear, were nonchalant and yet glamorous in their own right.
There was much to admire in this show. But it was the abundance of covetable coats that set the audience ablaze with need. Besides those fireman coats, there were peacoats, anoraks, trench coats, parkas and straight-laced city coats to choose from; all in shades of indigo, olive green, black and plum. And after the final winning look — a striking silver embellished coat —walked the runway, it became clear that for many people in the audience the only way to quench their flames of desire for this collection will be to buy Dries next season.