Paris Fashion Week: Dries Van Noten, freezing temperatures and hot fashion
Van Noten captured the freewheeling spirit of the 1960s in a wildly imaginative collection
A model walks the runway during the Dries Van Noten show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2018/2019
As temperatures in Paris today reached minus 6 degrees on Wednesday, the city braced itself for the chill winds and the start of fashion week’s winter collections with the main event being Dries Van Noten’s show which took place in the gilded splendour of City Hall.
There is talk about brands revisiting the past like the references at Dior on Monday by creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri to the tumultuous events of May 1968 and the youthful revolutionary fervour of half a century ago.
Van Noten, however, captured something of the freewheeling spirit of that time in this wildly imaginative collection for winter 2018 with its broad strokes, flamboyant use of feathers and mix of fabrics.
“It’s for a woman who loves clothes and likes to play with them”, he said, explaining the combination of contemporary easygoing sportswear shapes with classic tailoring. That playfulness showed throughout, in lighthearted freehand prints, many of feather motifs, in shaggy Mongolian or raffia coats with sharp black and white trousers or pleated skirts inset with curvaceous panels of Lurex, feathers or silk. It was bold in a very feminine, modern way.
A past master at assembling disparate elements appealingly, familiar shapes took on new looks – sweeping trench coats with rounded shoulders, bomber jackets in gold brocade, sweaters embellished with jewellery or with fake Afghan fur. A chunky China blue and white overcoat, for instance came with a cape of orange fur, another in flame red Mongolian fur was worn with lace up heeled runners. The shoes and boots, often in matching prints, made a big impact.
As for colour, his use of green was a masterclass in how to marry its many shades together successfully - long creamy dresses slashed with green, racing green chevron coats and prim dresses composed of colour blocked tones had their own allure. Brown Thomas’s Shelly Corkery was full of enthusiasm afterwards. “Its the best collection I’ve seen yet - I loved his dresses, the pleated skirts and the metallics. His following is growing all the time in Ireland,” she said.