It felt like the old world. Not old fashioned, but a world replete with the kind of slowness of pace and ambience one can associate with a time when, according to historical accounts, models’ numbers were called out, they twirled in their couture dresses, and the clothing was close enough to touch. Runway shows go by in a flash; this one lingered coolly.
The collection utilised prints of Japanese, Chinese and Korean costumes from the archives of the Victoria&Albert Museum. Van Noten photographed the pieces and transformed them into new fabrics, and then mixed them up in large patchwork designs.
They looked like pieces handpicked from all around the world- but without an inspired-by or styled-to feel; a fitting mix of unique antiques and modern items, like a well-loved and well-decorated home. Asian influences felt global, rather than specifically Eastern.
If there was ever such a thing as an elegant hooded parka, this collection had it. The jacket fell to the hip breezily. Like the rest of the collection, it radiated poise and self-assurance. Shoes were rich in texture, with cap toes, python, and what looked like tortoiseshell-printed material, which was also used on a laptop case. Visual details like these were like a treasure- they looked rare and different- and completed the smart collection. The active globetrotter at Dries Van Noten has a spirit of adventure- whether the adventure is in being outdoors or in intellectual discovery- and every time the designer rediscovers her, it is a welcoming treat.
-Ria de Borja