Dries Van Noten: A Nonsensical Review

10/1/10
KATIE

If anyone has noticed (if not, that's okay), I recently took an extensive break from Les Deux to do nothing really. In the middle of Fashion Week (Month) no less! I know, I'm a crazed woman. But after finishing up with the Week from Hell in school today, I'm ready to dip back into reviewing shows, and reading about brands, and tearing pages out of magazines, and reading blogs, and on, and on, and on. I'll start with Dries, but I forewarn you, this is no regular review. I approached this show with a very non-fashion-lover mindset, and just kind of wrote what I saw in a real world context as opposed to a fashion world context (example: girlfriend pretty vs. model pretty; get it?), so here we go!

 

I unofficially named this collection "Professionals of the Future"; initially it was "Professionals from Outerspace", but then I realized that the looks reminded me more of Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century than aliens. The show looked futuristic to me, or at least as futuristic as you'll ever get from Dries Van Noten. But to me, it wasn't futuristic in today's sense of the world (like Balenciaga); it was more futuristic as we saw it in the year 2000. There were elements of glittery shimmer throughout the show, like thin belts that had a striking resemblance to the shiny, pleather belts of my youth or the sequined sweaters and skirts. The stark-white oversized shirts and coats that marched out at the beginning of the show were so crisp and modern that they conjured images of what doctors and nurses might be wearing in 100 years. The floral prints that have become a staple at Dries shows were bigger and bolder than ever before, and seemed like a clean, modern take on your grandma's florals. Even the hair and makeup had a modern edge to it, slicked back locks and minimal makeup, consisting of basically nothing other than an accentuating minty white strip below the eyebrows. Layering seemed to be done just for the hell of it. Gauzy ponchos (stupid terminology, but really, what else do you call this?) were placed here and there over shirts, dresses, and sometimes over nothing but a skirt or pants. Akin to layering, many of the pieces (in true early-2000s fashion) were all about utility; wide-legged pants featured large pockets on the thighs, skirts came that came with pre-tied sleeves hugging around the hips, a clever oxford/vest combo which featured fantastic tailoring, and a tuxedo jacket/pea coat combo all shared time on the runway. Boyfriend coats ran rampant down the catwalk, with over-sized (but not strong) shoulders built into almost every jacket.
While the collection certainly had it's ups (beautiful floral, silk ombr├ęs, smart layering, and longer and wider hems done well), all in all it seemed, for lack of a better term, weird at times. It was as though Mr. van Noten theorized a collection, but didn't really have much time to fine tune it. While reviews claim that there was a 70's theme throughout the show, I only noticed it every so often, and when I did it was not the cool, 70's vibe one hopes for, it was the late 70's vibe that your great-aunt wears around her trailer in Southern Kentucky, if you know what I mean.
All in all, it's been my least favorite Dries collection ever. But really, how does one follow a show like this?

-Katie

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