100 runway shows, pfew! Now that's worthy of a standing ovation. For his one hundredth fashion show, Dries Van Noten - the Belgian master of unique prints - decided to revisit his favorite patterns, from the late ‘90s till today.
The Dries Van Noten Fall/Winter 2017 ready-to-wear show in Paris (by Regis Colin-Berthelier for NOWFASHION)
What could be perceived as a risky move at first glance - basing an entire collection on archived material might feel dated to some - turned out to be a beautiful love declaration to past and present collections.
Indeed, while some designers always seek a new thrill, like the next big trend that will set social media on fire and push their sales. Dries Van Noten always stays far from the maddening crowds.
Immersed in his own signature style, and yet not an outsider, Van Noten always manages to impress his audience with poetic collections that are as avant-garde as they are timeless. From one runway show to another, he always manages to leave an indelible mark on the fashion industry's collective conscience. A memory that is cherished and remembered long after the models hit the runway for the show's finale.
This collection was the most authentic interpretation of his brand's heritage so far, one that celebrated his signature prints “without nostalgia and with little artifice,” the designer said in his post-show release.
This unique anniversary collection featured Van Noten's best-of prints - think graphic and upscaled geometries, bold and romantic florals, naive yet stark patterns and abstract photographs - declined on what he called “manly and proud tailoring”; shapes and fits that magnify a women's femininity while emphasizing her strength.
More interestingly, these outfits were not tailored to one archetypal woman, but many types of women. Women of all ages and backgrounds, an empowering celebration of womanhood as a whole, not just an elitist construct that fetishizes one specific kind of femininity.
And if anyone wondered, Dries Van Noten got his standing ovation after the finale of his show. A well-deserved and sincere love declaration from an industry that has admired and adored his art for more than two decades.