a lift


In recent years, I have pared down the number of fashion week shows I check out, but Dries Van Noten is always on my list*. Once or twice a year I visit my local Dries boutique and I always come away empty handed, because a) too expensive for me, let’s be honest; b) his clothes are not for my life and c) I guess I’m still waiting for that magic moment when I find the perfect piece to take home with me.

But I don’t stop looking at his shows, because even if I don’t dress like that, I love his vision and his carefully considered mix of texture, print and colour. We’ve all complained about the pattern-mix trend but I never tire of how Dries Van Noten does it because his is not a grab for attention or a need to shock. It has specific reference points and evokes a particular mood and it always feels to me like he’s exploring an idea (last season’s chinoserie, this season’s grunge plaids). This is why I come back and look and his collections year after year, because he continues to have something new and relevant to say. And inexplicably, it feels consistent at the same time, distinct to him, very “Dries”.

I don’t feel the need to buy his stuff, or look for ways to interpret his ideas with my own clothes. For me, it feels good enough to admire his skill, feel inspired by how he has expressed his creativity, and love that his work elevates fashion beyond just clothing oneself without wandering into absurdist territory.

It feels great to start my weekend with something so inspiring. hope everyone has a great weekend as well.


* - Also on my list this season: Zero Maria Cornejo, The Row, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim for Kenzo, Valentino, Phoebe Philo for Celine, Hedi Slimane for YSL (or shall I say Saint Laurent Paris already?), Raf Simons for Dior, Alber Elbaz for Lanvin. Who’s been following the shows this season? What shows are you liking, or looking forward to?

Pictures from vogue.com


Sue said…
Absolutely loving the colour and pattern combinations shown here. It's been a long time since I've been impressed with anything and it takes something as understated as this to actually provoke a reaction from me. I'm jaded from the jewel tones of so many shows. I remember in the 1980's when MTV were showing the fashion shows and I used to stay up late to record them on a VCR - I remember the Richmond and (Maria) Cornejo show from then .... I didn't know she was still designing.
Nomadic D. said…
I loved the Dries show too, and you've posted some of my favorite looks - the grey sweater over the plaid over the floral - masterful layering, and the closeup detail of the embellished black vest, that look was amazing too. He really is so good at the mix, in a way that others (ahem, marc jacobs) can't pull off so effortlessly and naturally.

This comment has been removed by the author.
If the blogs I follow post the shows, that's how I see them. And then I keep them in the back of my mind to really look at them when the season comes. I forgot about Hedi already. NYC goes largely ignored except for Ralph Lauren, I'll always make a point to look at Ralph Lauren. I don't really "get" the cool girl brands. Donna Karan is usually pretty good too. I just checked Gareth Pugh, and it's beautiful. And usu. his spring shows don't hit it for me. Gareth Pugh gets better every season. Ann D is always worth looking at too. My favorite designers tend to be the ones that stick to their own aesthetic.
Anonymous said…
Same sentiments with Dries, not my style but I always ogle at their store windows, haha I'm not even sure why.

Looking forward to Hedi and Raf's respective debuts, Lanvin, and Vanessa Bruno.

The Jil Sander show was everything to me. Now that Jil herself is back at the helm, I'm just ecstatic to see modern, simple and practical clothing that I can see myself wearing everyday.
Ammu said…
Dries Van Noten is always inspiring - Lindsay did a lovely post about an interview with him recently. Just gorgeous.
I also loved Narciso Rodriguez's show and I always check out pictures from Carven's Paris showing. I have pretty much stopped looking at everyone else, unless a blogger alerts me to it.
Anonymous said…
Zero Maria Cornejo would be so fantastic on you, for your style. I can picture her designs, and Dries as well, always looking so perfect with flats or converse. I have a few Dries items, 3 I think, and they are very very much suitable for real life.
mel said…
Dries is hands down my favorite designer. Period. He has the masculin-feminin thing down, but somehow re-invents its every season. i also love how he's pushing the envelope with his graphic prints that are both subtle and modern at the same time. I visit the dries boutique whenever I'm in Paris. If you can make it during the sales, you can find some very good deals (ahem, relatively speaking). The items I have from him work very well into a real-world wardrobe and are all impeccably constructed. That said, they are not classically Dries, i.e., not prints. My dream would be to own a Dries coat. Perfection. Other designers whose shows I always peek at are Marni and Isabel Marant. The latter is getting too trendy but I love how she always manages to capture the "cool Parisian girl" vibe time and again.
Anh said…
I enjoy your blog, but this disappoints. I like hearing ur views but this seems eerily similar to Lindsay K's post the day before. I would even go as far as to say one inspired the other. If so, why not make mention... Since you are a writer i find it a bit surprising.
Anonymous said…
Re the above comment, I find this post nothing like the post on un petit bijou, except for the fact that they are both about the same designer.. Lin has done many posts on Dries in the past actually, and if you read other blogs you would see that there have been a lot of posts on this collection in the last few days.
lin said…
Sue: You're right about the break from jewel tones. I like that the colours here manage to be soft but vivid though.

I don't know much about Maria Cornejo, wish a little more was written about her! Actually I'm always interested in women designers because it's one way of observing how women view other women, or themselves..

Nomadic D: It was hard just to choose a few looks, I even liked the feel of those billowing caftans, even though they'd probably look silly on most people. I liked looked at the fabrics move...check out the show in video.

Pret a Porter P: I really like the Donna Karan show this season ...wouldn't have looked at it if some pictures popped up on blogs.

Your blog keeps me up to date on Gareth Pugh, and I have to agree that there's a lot more to him than the the whole hoopla he created in the initial years.

navyslate: I just saw pix of the Vanessa Bruno show, very pretty the way her spring shows usually are. It reminded me of the collection Phoebe Philo did for Chloe in 2005, that was one of my favourite collections. - http://out-of-the-bag.blogspot.sg/2009/09/cut-back-to-four-years-ago.html

I wasn't so in love with Jil Sander...her work in theory is my sort of thing but I don't connect emotionally with her designs. But I'm interested that she has something to say about fashion and I feel somewhat vindicated for her that she reclaimed for her namesake label.

Ammu: Your comment reminded me of that post, which I only glanced at in a hurry. Went to read it again and it was such a pleasure.

Definitely want to check out the Narciso show, read lots of good things about it.

editor: The draping of her dresses don't work on me but I love her trousers and jackets and coats. You're right about how well the designs work with flats as well, I suppose that's why I'm drawn to them!

A lot of the Dries looks I'm drawn to come in silk and that's too warm for me. There was a plain navy cotton blouse I mildly regret not buying two years ago. But I suppose good things come...eventually.

mel: I LOVE his Paris boutique, passed by it unexpectedly when I was there last year and it really made my afternoon. I saw a number of beautiful Dries spring coats at a sale this year and wished I had some use for them!

I'm not much of an Isabel Marant fan but the hype has been fascinating and it's interesting to see how different people wear it - there seems to be a very classic end of things and then there's the trendy stuff (printed jeans and those sneaker wedges).

Anh: That's too bad, because I wasn't in anyway copying her. My post is pretty much an off-the-cuff reaction to the spring show of a designer I've long loved.

(And for the record, Lindsay's post was lovely, I'm not in any way putting her down.)

Anon: Thanks for your comments (I removed one because you posted the same one twice) :)

I'll be perfectly honest and say that I actually didn't follow anyone this time. The one that stood out for me though is Mary Katrantzou. I just love the exquisite prints on her dresses. I can easily imagine how beautiful they are with a simple pair of pumps.
Joy said…
i didn't have time before to take a look at dries but i now will! this looks amazing. i feel like all the designers in paris this year have all done such great work (balenciaga included ;))...something must have been in the water haha.

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