Big, Bold, Brash: Dries Van Noten Spring 2016

The only problem with a Dries Van Noten show is that whatever else you see that day looks second-rate. His ability to capture something fresh and new in an unexpected harmony of color and patterns is spellbinding. Today’s show was in the same industrial warehouse as his previous men’s collection, but it couldn’t have felt more different. Out with the masculine raw-edged pop and in with a flamboyant glamour.

There was a sense of youth to the Dries Van Noten woman for spring. To the sounds of the string quartet Balanescu playing instrumental versions of Kraftwerk, his girls marched ten at a time in the gigantic space. With a forties wartime feel to the hair, a fifties prom feel to some of the skirts, a sixties and eighties feel in the brashness of color combinations, and a nineties feel to the tattooed body sleeves, it all added up to a exhilarating newness. Metallic touches were everywhere, as we have seen filtering through the spring collections, here balanced with extreme matte textures. Elevated shoes complemented the outfits’ colors in a new form, open-toe wedges that featured in almost every look.

Van Noten’s deft handling of color and pattern is unparalleled right now, and shows no signs of faltering. His collections walk to the beat of their own drum. The amount of Dries-ciples in the audience already sporting the fall collection was testament to this.

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