I usually don't take this space to dwell on designers, but I really wanted to write about my love for the Dries Van Noten show yesterday. And considering it was the first show Freja walked in to start off her Paris Fashion week, I thought this would be as appropriate a time as I would ever get. (Besides, it's no secret how I feel about Dries.)
I know I'm not equipped with the necessary technical vocabulary to express the beauty of these clothes, but I do know when something is so beautiful and so perfect that I just can't get it out of my mind. So, how do I even begin to describe the show yesterday?
It was elegant, yet basic. Wearable, yet aspirational. Simple, yet complex. Straightforward, yet deceptive. Maybe I like Dries so much because I think his clothes exist simultaneously on both ends of the spectrum, much like Freja and her ability to be both masculine and feminine, classic and contemporary, commercial and cerebral. I seem to be drawn towards things that can paradoxically embody opposing, even conflicting, notions. I guess that incongruity is what makes something interesting to me.
In addition to the above, my love for Dries also comes from the way he's able to execute the cut, fit, volume, proportion and silhouette of his clothing. Along with impeccable tailoring, I think he really has a masterful command of all these elements so he's free to play around with them and draw out new ideas from them. After all, it takes real skill to make something as mundane and ubiquitous as as grey sweatshirt seem impossibly luxurious and polished.
And elements like cinched waists, broad shoulders, upright collars, and color blocking take this collection beyond basics that you can find in any shop, for they all have that special Dries touch.
You see that touch in the way his pants start out with a lot of volume on top, but gradually reduce down by way of straps and zippers as your eye descends to the feet. You see it in his use of leopard print and muted floral patterns; not two things you would ever put together, but in his hands they seem right. You see it in his layering, and in something as simple, but so beautiful, as his slouchy cut-off sleeves.
And the bags....oh, the bags. I would die happy swimming in a sea of these.
Dries clothing is about as far away as you can get from my own personal style, but I think that's why I love it so much every season. It's special and meaningful beyond being something that I want to wear. It's always a collection that makes me reevaluate what I think I know about good clothing and how to dress. But more importantly, it's a collection that always makes me dream. And that's fashion at it's best.
Image Credits: style.com