Dries Van Noten turned the majestic interior of the École des Beaux Arts into an intimate set of rooms in an old country house. Scotch was served from drinks trolleys, before a wave of young men in tartan and kilts took to the runway. We were clearly in the Highlands—Balmoral perhaps, the estate of the British royal family. Bingo! Van Noten's theme was Prince Harry, communing with the spirit of his great-great-uncle Edward, Duke of Windsor—but doing it in his own, rebelliously youthful way.

Kilts, which dominated the show, came rumpled and worn, in linen and cotton madras. The duke would have recognized a slim coat in a Prince of Wales check, although perhaps not the thin red belt that encircled it. Likewise, a chic tartan jacket, which appeared with combat shorts and espadrilles. In such incongruous mixes of tops, bottoms, and accessories—Bermuda shorts and a Starsky cardigan, anyone?—was the tension between past and present expressed. But then, dressing at Van Noten always calls for a spirit of adventure.