He was coming off two hit collections in which he moved into the fast lane as a fashion influencer (his Bacon-inspired winter color palette—all those mustard, shrimp, and beige colors—has been replicated everywhere). That meant the anticipation surrounding Dries Van Noten's show was running high. Was he going to gift the world with a fresh set of ideas to get everyone thinking? As it turned out, no. Spring found Van Noten dropping back several gears and taking an ethnic route, which, though thoroughly in line with his house signatures, didn't forge ahead into any new territory.

Perhaps he judged it time to reinstate the print and pattern his customers love—which is fair enough, of course. After a couple of seasons of citified dressing, collectors of Dries may well be pining for his more eclectic, decorative pieces. If so, they'll find plenty of them: coats, soft boxy jackets, wrapped dresses, and sarong skirts in a plethora of fabrics and embroideries that looked as if they'd been sourced from a trip around the markets of China and Southeast Asia.

In among them, there were items—like the silver lamé tank with a sheer back, the khaki shorts, and the sparkly jackets—that will also allow fans to dip into trend without going overboard. Still, the extra twist of styling genius that has gone into Van Noten's recent collections was missing this time—except for one thing. The incredible necklaces—rich-looking pearl chokers dangling geometric pendants set with large semiprecious stones and crystal—made gorgeous viewing.