'Heaven, I’m in heaven…' Fred Astaire’s voice echoed in the grand salon of the Hotel de Ville where Dries van Noten showed his latest collection. And really, where else could you be with Dries? Sure, last season we were in grungy Detroit but winter’s offerings were of a more refined kind. Heavenly indeed.
The show opened with a navy wool coat, belted over tailored grey trousers, with some interesting pink and silver embroidery swirling around it. The shoes? Simple flat patent brogues with a cork sole. Mr van Noten is a conscious designer – aware of both his customer’s needs and of the support his company provides to the many in India that produce his embroidery. He won’t choose on a creative whim to forsake embroidery for an entire season, for example. And neither will he fail to provide his loyal fan base with options, suggestions and choices for what to wear next season. Today he satisfied both camps – the embroidery took centre stage as the main form of embellishment and a wish list of gorgeous coats and knitwear, modern tailoring and a layering proposition that you could actually do was on the menu. Tick and tick and tick again for how desirable it all was!
The teaming of heavy cable knits with breezy silk fringing, on skirts and as hemline trim on long tunics, was particularly winning. Throw it all on, van Noten seemed to be saying – why not? Overloaded and overworked it wasn’t. How about a sparkly square top over a mannish shirt under a striped tunic and matching striped trousers? An embroidered grey wool bomber jacket was the kind of piece that still gets you compliments ten years down the line. A tiered silhouette was also shown, like a 4-layered grey skirt (fantastic with a chunky knit and strappy sandals). A floral print was introduced in the latter half of the show, great on a mannish trouser suit and also a jumbo coat with a layer of fringing peeking underneath. Here is a designer that can show a pink feather top with a clashing sunshine yellow feather skirt and instantly follow it with the perfect camel coat with ease. Dries van Noten - he's got the moves like Astaire.