Dries Van Noten.
Few Designers are as much a Magician of inspiration like Dries Van Noten. Van Noten is as much an Arch Bohemian as he is a resolute Romantic. His collections are always Magpie affairs... throwing curveballs Left, Right and Center into the fray and jumbling it all about to Sublime Perfection! A Mix Master Extraordinaire, There is always something unsettlingly Provocative about even the most genteel of Van Noten Affairs, Subverse almost. Spring 2014 was no exception!
There was a Fascination with Pleated ruffles that had absolutely no Ephemeral or Romantic connotations that it was almost Futuristic in it's approach, especially when in Super shiny metallic Gold. Opening with a Otherwise simplistic tank neck shift dress, the fluttery Garlands of Gold Pleats arcing around the sides of the dress were instantly Drama-Making and elevated something that could have been Anodyne in to the Exuberant!
After this opening, as is typical Van Noten, The show went everywhere it wanted to, Alighting on themes at whim and dismissing them as casually but all were always part of the larger whole. All viewed through the same lens, but that lens traveled, Here, There, Hither, Yon, Everywhere! One minute A Sober Trench in crinkled Alabaster linen was paired with a Gilded Vest underneath at Exit No. 3 While moments later a Macrame Pesante top was sitting atop a Floaty Lace and Chiffon tunic over pants all in Vanilla at Exit No. 8.
Yet these were but a Few of the Multiple treasures in Van Noten's Trove... From Folkloric patterns to Midnight Tulip florals, even Barbed Wire was thrown in as Menacing counterpoint, though it was rendered in the most delicate of ways! The romance here was Thick, But it was Dark, Vampiric, Melancholy without being Joyless.
A standout of Extraordinary measure was Exit No. 40, A Shift dress so thickly and Lavishly Encrusted with Golden Gilding, it was cut in the simplest shape but was rendered Almost, Delicate by Dries expert hand! The Cavalcade of Ruffles in Black, Gold, Tan, and White all congregating in one outfit that ended the show was an overdose of an affect that in other hands would be unappetizingly saccharine, here there was nothing of the prissy or... ELEGANT about it!
Tough Beauty! That was the mantra of the day here at Dries Van Noten! That's an idea I think many women are all too ready to get behind, Tiers of Ruffles All The Way!