The grass tickled my bare feet and wind softly blew on my face as I skipped through the lush verdant untouched forest trying to find the perfect spot to settle down with my oversized blanket. Hypnotized by a sweet fragrance, I laid my blanket out and took a seat by a fallen trunk with wild flowers blooming out of its decaying orifice. All around me large, rich pillars loomed above me to a majestic canopy. Cracks of light broke through in a golden stream from the heavens and kissed parts of a multitoned moss filled trail outlined by robust trunks, wild flowers, and… I quickly smacked myself into reality and focused on the clothes peacefully gracing the runway. Dries Van Noten has always been successful in transporting his spectators to a different world with his settings through use of music, lighting, and props. This year was no different, with the sound of birds chirping and the blowing of gentle winds playing in the background, along with a custom made carpet by Argentinean artist Alexandra Kehayoglou mimicking a moss trail, and dusky golden lighting mimicking sunlight seeping through a dense canopy, it was no surprise my enchanted senses placed me in a lush dreamlike forest for the show.
Throughout the show, I saw natural “no make-up” faces and hair parted down the middle giving off a hippie vibe, while the dreamy gossamer and gilded fabrics added a fairy-tale element. The models looked as if they were magical forest fairies set in the 1970’s, all against the demolition of forests and all for peace, love, and equality. Stunning colored jacquards, gilded color striped silk, striped organza, patched brocade graced the models mythical bodies as bandeau tops, oversized blouses, flowy ankle length skirts, coats, multitier dresses, and narrow pants. With pattern on top of pattern on top of pattern, the looks never looked overdone; it allowed for endless styling possibilities. A standout look was a pale yellow and purple patterned filmy blouse with metallic block striped pants in a kaleidoscope of colors; completed with a neutral jacquard coat, a leather and fur clutch, and a delicate golden twig clasping her neck. Another stand out piece was what the designer called “Summer fur” during an interview with WWD.com, from afar it looked like a block striped laser cut fur vest; (look number 7) in reality they were chiffon strips stitched closely together giving the garment a fur like appearance … Breathtaking! I cannot forget to mention the intricate and almost impossible to recreate jacquards, all done in one woven piece they revealed two or more different weaves: a coat with the top half in a pale red and dusty golden print leading into an unfinished rubik cube-like patterned bottom half.
Not only was Mr. Van Noten able to transport me and others to the majestic forest through his props, but he was able to translate the beauty of nature and spring in his collection through the light silicone nylon jacquard coats, the sun weaved into the jacquard, the golden twigs hanging from the models necks, and the cool and muted color palette. I could not help but fall into the spell of earlier as the finale was happening, the forest fairies peacefully walked the moss trail one last time, some sat while others gently lied down embracing their surroundings; reminding me of the heart-stirring beauty in nature.
By Christopher Garces.