DRIES VAN NOTEN Showcased his Cast of Doppelgängers in a Melange of Animal Prints, Delft Blue and Metallics to the Backdrop of a Shabby 1920s Parisian Hotel.


All Image and Video Credit: Dries Van Noten


Dramatic, stylized make-up and a beaded butterfly necklace

The sprawling, ramshackle shabby chic early 18th century-built Hotel de Guise with its parquet floorboards, dramatic stairway and ancient nooks and crannies was where the ultimate magician of textured cloth, pattern and colour, Dries Van Noten, chose to introduce the world to his Fall 2022/23 ready-to-wear collection. The drama and fabulous decay of the setting in its own right made us gasp for air.

The house is part of the extraordinary creative thinking behind yet another breath-taking collection: decorated in the 1920s, with its tall walls covered in tactile, ornate florid ochre wallpaper, its ceilings dripping with Venetian chandeliers and imposing astragalled windows, it formed the ultimate backdrop to display Dries’ deliciously textured creations. The atmosphere was melancholic and surreal, with mannequins grouped in clusters, propped up against walls, seated on the attic stairs.

What made it even more bizarre – if not freakish – was that the mannequins were dressed up and made up to resemble their real-life counterparts, down to their hair! Doppelgängers in sumptuous quilted brocade coats, silvery-gold jackets fully encrusted and stiff like armour, with diamonte embellishments, dresses with billowing, circular, cocoon-like sleeves, crystalline silver sequin coats with shaggy collars and padded jackets with curvy, tubular edges stood around in the ramshackle house, as if having an intimate chat.

The avant-garde influences of years gone by were also present. Van Noten speaks of the inspiration of Italian architects, photographers, filmmakers and other creatives – the likes of Carlo Mollino and Marcello Mastroianni – and of eroticised strong women from the past. A slight retro feel from the 1920s floated in the air, or perhaps that was Van Noten’s new range of perfumes – the likes of Cannabis Patchouli, which will no doubt send hundreds of thousands of loyal Dries fans reaching for their credit cards.

Animal prints – not a regular Van Noten staple one should add – were to be seen in every guise – from leopard and tiger to zebra and cow prints as well as tortoise shell on bags, boots, coats and collars. Some looks featured all the different animal prints in one ensemble, eclectically collated as only Dries Van Noten can. As a complete contrast to the ‘more-is-more’ looks, some pieces were decidedly sleek and toned-down and in a monochrome shade of off-white, or with just a dab of colour or a piece of jewellery as an accent scarf or collar peeking out. Beautiful Delft blue in delicate prints made their appearance on garments as well as on boots.

Giant beaded butterfly necklaces in all shades added to the animal chic, but in a stylised 1920s Parisian way. Bulky diamonte-encrusted cluster necklaces were twisted around models’ necks – opulent, indulgent and utterly covetable! Mammoth conch shells weirdly added a maritime element to the collection. Colour-wise, the natural animal prints were juxtaposed with blues, reds and purples, and Dries’ trademark metallics in silver and gold also made the collection sing.

It’s a sensual collection, a tangible and bittersweet tribute to times gone by. It may draw on yore, but in every respect it’s a forward-looking collection and one that Dries lovers will no doubt identify with and adore. From a carefully-orchestrated exhibition inside a dilapidated Paris house Dries was sending a cautiously optimistic fashion message: beautiful fashion is still very much alive and well.

Watch Dries Van Noten’s presentation here:

An opulent, theatrical cerise satin dress and coat and a cluster bracelet

Chic opulence reminiscent of years gone by, but with a distinct 2022 twist

A faux fur tiger print coat and nose rings

A stunning silver sequin opera coat with fur collar

A leopard print coat, cerise blouse and assemblage of diamonte and shell necklaces

A Delft-inspired suit with rotund sleeves

A hint of the 1970s in this print

A sleek and shapely duvet coat in neutral cream

Brocade and leopard print fuse beautifully

A melange of textures and patterns

A lacquered, belted trench coat in leopard print

A striking two-tone zebra coat

A tubular-edged jacket in tweed

High drama in this oversized print, exaggerated sleeve dress

A leopard print dress and tortoise shell boots topped off by a red-and-black quilted brocade coat

Cerise embellishments suggestive of tiger prints and leopard spots on this puffer jacket


Cecile Paul

Author at Pynck

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