Dries Van Noten is not one for following trends. There are times when his soft, rich bohemian aesthetic fits in with the rest of what’s happening, and there are timeslike now, as a 60s modmeets80s disco look is ruling the runwayswhen it doesn’t. It’s not a problem for the Van Noten customer, who likes to collect individual pieces rather than change her look every season. Come fall, she'll have plenty of beautiful options to choose from.
Shown under a canopy of tiny fairy lights, Van Noten’s collection was hugely feminine and adorned with everything from sequined edges and ruffled hems to floral appliqu¿. As always, the clothes had a subtle ethnic flavorChinese floral-print jackets, tops that wrap like kimonos, and sari embroidery on lush, long scarves. But this season the designer also did a little time traveling. Flapper coats and twinkling capelets had a distinctively 20s feel; drapey layers (homey shawls over coats over sweaters over long skirts) would not have been out of place at an ERA rally; and fur tippets brought to mind the sort of 1940s lady who wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without gloves. Everything had a well-loved feel, like a beautiful old couture piece rediscovered in a closet and worn with a striped cotton pajama top or a deliciously nubby sweater.
Backstage after the show, Van Noten said he’d been going for a dreamy mood. “You can think about fashion and try to figure out what’s hip, but I don’t think it’s a time for that right now,” he said. “I just wanted to do something beautiful, to create a fairy-tale collection.” In that he certainly succeeded.