Friday, June 28, 2013

BEAUTY: Clothing--Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten is a genius with pattern. No one else manages to use pattern so subtly but come up with such grand, effective results. Such is the case with his '14 Spring-Summer collection at Paris Fashion Week. Combining florals with a military theme, the entire collection is cumulative... it builds and grows into a fascinatingly rich texture. Yes, all collections and designers take a theme and riff on it, letting it build and grow, but this was different, deeper. While renowned drummer Cindy Blackman Santana (wife of Carlos Santana) beat out a fierce, jazzy tattoo, the models paraded dusty, dusky florals, inspired by fabrics, patterns, and prints that Van Noten has encountered in the archives of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, while planning for his upcoming career retrospective there next year.

As a brilliant contrast to all of the beautifully dense and layered flowers, or possibly as a perfect compliment, Van Noten brought in military notes in extensive and gorgeous embroidered gold bullion detailing on dashing coats and tight jackets that brought to mind Navy pea coats and Army parade dress. The gold bullion also showed up, playfully, on loose surf shorts. The 18th century Rococo prints played very well with the regimental sense, creating a kind of WAR AND PEACE/ANNA KARENINA vibe for me.

This could be the season of the floral, with blooms and blossoms showing up at Gucci, Phillip Lim, McQueen, and Prada.

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