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Dries Van Noten knows elegance. He can create it with any theme, so this season he set himself a challenge: grunge. The SS13 Dries girl used to be an emo and listen to Sonic Youth’s ‘Superstar’ in her bedroom. Now it plays in her head as she walks down the road, which was a catwalk today but will be the street tomorrow, given the overwhelming desirability of the collection. Lifting check and tartan out of their punk origins, Dries placed the prints on sophisticated sheer shirts, stiff metallic waistcoats, jacket sleeves, slouchy trousers and wrap dresses, styled with white rimmed shades, heavy silver jewellery and ladylike clutches. Coining the grown up grunge look in just a few strokes, Dries quickly introduced a flower print, something ultra feminine, which in theory, should have been difficult to marry with the punky check, but wasn’t. Flowers fell effortlessly into the collection, on floor-length sheer hippy dresses, with the cheeky check poking its tongue out underneath. The poppy print continued on pyjama wrap jackets with silk lapels, on beautifully crumpled coats and 3D embroidered pencil skirts. When we asked Dries backstage how he pulled the two seemingly opposing prints together, he answered: “It was just about having fun with the clothes, being playful. And instead of doing digital prints, I went back to screen prints – they give you the option of taking clothes and putting them together whereas with digital prints it’s all engineered, so you put one garment on and you have the total outfit. With screen prints, you can make a statement by putting a check pant, a flower skirt, a men’s jacket, a couture skirt and throwing them together in the way you want.” And the sentiment just proved what a master of art Dries Van Noten is; in one sentence he summed up the current fashion landscape, and as quickly, identified his way out, away from the norm and into the future, where grunge exists without any mess and women are sonic superstars.
Text: Sarah Raphael
Photography: Mitchell Sams
See all of our SS13 womenswear coverage here.