There was a collective cry of joy and delight from the French press at the end of Dries Van Noten's fall/winter 2015 show. Up until his presentation the Paris Fashion Week had been pretty uneventful. Now that is no longer the case.
Van Noten expressed with his collection a mood that is starting to sweep the industry: that of forgoing seasonal penchants in favor of individuality. Where personal expression of style, rather than being "on trend,” is the purest form of sartorial creativity.
In all fairness, this has always been the way of Van Noten. But this season he upped the ante by producing a passionately beautiful lineup that pulled reference points from the Orient, military garb, the insect world and even a bit of ballroom.
"It was all different woman," said Van Noten after the show. He was referring to the fact that the soundtrack of the show consisted of snippets of famous female singers — like Beyoncé, Bjork, Courtney Love, and Debbie Harry — belting out some of their most well-known songs with a cappella bravado. But the designer could easily have been describing his own work.
The refined singularity of each of his damask jackets, gilded embroidered skirts, tear drop sequined or iridescent beetle-hued three-dimensional paillette-covered tops and shaggy fur coats was stunning in its own right.
But in a show filled with winners, some silhouettes still stood out. The navy blouson bell-sleeved jacket with golden dragons clutching the chest will be a favorite with buyers. All the full cut easy pants, no matter if they were constructed from lilac velvet, a silk print or a beige cotton, looked comfy and classy. And the fitted jackets crafted with asymmetrical peplums over one hip and cinched at the waist were both sleek and womanly in equal measures.
With this show, and throughout his impressive career, Dries Van Noten has demonstrated that to succeed in fashion, and in life, to thine own self be true.