Collection: Dries Van Noten
Season: Spring/Summer 2011 (Paris)
Source: Dries Van Noten
To quote Candy Pratts Price, “September is the January of fashion” and I find myself sitting here on the last day of the month finally experiencing that moment of transcendence that I await every fashion season. At this point I have trudged through the fashion weeks of New York, London, and Milan found, much to my disappointment, that the collections were quite clinical to put it politely. Of course there were a few exceptions—Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, and Carolina Herrera in NY, Burburry in London, and Gucci in Milan, but as a whole I found myself desperately underwhelmed. I was on the verge of giving up this season, finding that I could barely even bring myself to look at another runway review, and then it happened: I stumbled upon Dries Van Noten. Finally I had found what I was looking for so fervently—inspiration. Simplicity, elegance, and glamour all rolled into one. I found in this collection the same aesthetic that was perpetuated by my biggest fashion influence Mademoiselle Coco Chanel, a simplistic femininity peppered with elements of men’s tailoring. The end result is a confident, sexy, elegant lady who knows what she wants and takes it for herself. In other words the Coco Chanel of today.
For this collection Dries was inspired by the paintings of Belgian artist Jef Verheyen. The designer found himself captivated by the artist’s ability to capture light in his work and therefore set out to accomplish the same feat in his Spring/Summer Womenswear collection. The collection was a masterful display of beautifully feminine blouses covered in iridescent paillettes nestled beneath dramatically oversized menswear inspired blazers. Ornate patterns taken from Chinese ceramics were applied to sumptuous white silks and then bleached away to create an enchanting ombre effect. One of my favorite moments from the collection came the form of look 49—a black oversized blazer over a pewter blouse, covered in paillettes that tied at the neck. Placed underneath was a simple white skirt that appeared to be nothing more or less than the bottom end of a men’s dress shirt as it appears when left un-tucked. The look summed up what I feel is the essence of the entire collection and I later learned that this was one of the designers favorite looks as well.
The accessories of the collection anchored the soft elegance of the silks and paillettes. The shoes were done in soft suede in muted tones with chunky heels. The glasses and handbags were sleek and modern as well were the jewelry pieces. All of these elements come together with the clothes like the sections of an orchestra to produce the sartorial symphony that was the Dries Van Noten womenswear collection for spring/summer 2011.
See the collection in it’s entirety on Style.
Marquis Bias is an expert in fashion and style based in Columbia, South Carolina. He is well known throughout South Carolina for his work as a fashion stylist and creative director as well as his position as the President of the Fashion Board at the University of South Carolina.
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