In a fashion realm obsessed with the fast and the new, Dries Van Noten is the antidote, who serves to remind us that quality isn’t necessarily to be found in quantity – or in shock value.
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Like all his collections, this was a carry-over from previous seasons: the formal romanticism of autumn/winter 2011 mixed with the free-spiritedness of spring/summer 2012, but, as always, spiked carefully with a totally unforeseen new chapter. As Dutch artists Gijs Frieling and Job Wouters live-painted a white backdrop in their signature mural and calligraphy styles, one of Dries’ typically precise casts of boys introduced us to what the designer called a psychedelic turn in menswear: “I thought to myself, maybe psychedelic is what menswear needs at the moment. It’s so serious and so aesthetic and I just thought… Let’s do whatever we want, at least let’s take a risk!” The artworks of Frieling and Wouters were used in prints, giving the collection the kind of outstanding personality, which Dries always manages to inject into a collection without being loud about it. In all his quietness, there is, however, a certain irony in Dries’ talent for creating season pieces. Come autumn, these will include a rollneck/shirt morph, a painted trouser, and a Herr Doktor-like navy coat with white detailing. And possibly some DYI stencilling.
Text: Anders Christian Madsen
Photography: Mitchell Sams