Getting Graphic: Dries Van Noten Spring 2019

The Palais de Tokyo is as unexpected as they come for a Dries Van Noten show venue, and the particular space they chose within the Palais de Tokyo was just as rare. The swooping gallery, with its glass ceiling, is usually reserved for art shows, but as the Palais de Tokyo is between art shows right now, the timing was perfect, and our lady was really up to her elbows in paint tonight on the runway.

With a scorching harsh light provided by nature itself, the models literally walked on sunshine, while the clothes flirted with the codes of both couture and workwear, young and old. Van Noten is not your run-of-the-mill designer concerned with the (dying) sportswear trend (that doesn’t want to go away) and he is not afraid to address reality. The embellishment was exemplary, with plays on western fringing and fishnet rendered in micro-beading and string beads. While the prints, though commercially floral, were interrupted with hand-painting and arms dipped up to the elbow in ink and paint. It was perhaps a reaction against the factory-produced monotony we are subjected to day in and day out. Though there were plenty of fan pieces on the runway, including micro-beaded harnesses and deftly applied feathers in a variety of primary colors.

The Dries woman tonight was hopeful for the future and inspired by everything it can bring — a quiet revolution. And we defy you to find a more covetable selection of separates this season. This is a first taster we have had of the company since its surprise majority sale earlier in the year, and the scale, scope, imagination and assuredness of the label’s ‘voice’ was heard loud and clear. This is the beginning of a new chapter.