Claiming he was bored with basics and in the mood for having fun again,
Dries Van Noten defined a very specific inspiration for himself this season: Salvador Dalí at the beach. In a setting that matched a five-piece rock band to a full orchestra under a ceiling hung with 120 flags and banners, Van Noten envisaged Dalí stumbling off to la playa in his pajama pants and slippers, still wearing his tuxedo shirt from the night before, with perhaps a brocade coat thrown over his shoulders.
Outré combinations may have been the order of the day, but Dries never strayed far from his mantratradition, elegance, eccentricity. A white linen suit was shown with beaded Moroccan slippers; a short jacket embroidered like a toreador's was paired with cropped sweatpants; a sarong, belted at the waist, was worn with collar and tie; and a gold Lurex waistcoat snuggled under a sunset-pink cotton coat. The designer's enduring love of clothes that tell a story meant almost everything had a softened, worn feel, with the romantic effect helped along by the orchestra's swelling strings. What looked richest for next summer, though, was the casually sensual color clash of a coffee-toned safari jacket with sky-blue shorts, or a pair of pale paisley trousers with hand-embroidered red details.