By Liana Satenstein, Staff Writer
How would a Dries Van Noten girl express her infatuation for the shores of the West Indies and the palms of the Ivory Coast? She would wear them on her sleeve. This season, Van Noten took the panoramic route, blocking together sketches and photographic prints of jungles, flora, and coastlines, with his signature Exacto-knife cut.
Modernist 60’s inspired linear silhouettes juxtaposed with traditional Victorian complements, such as a corset jacket, set the tone for structure. Van Noten deconstructed the ruffle, a traditionally overt feminine feature, and used it to structure his clothing. Ruffles appeared almost everywhere: a peplum on a pair of relaxed, boyish cigarette pants or as a mold for a narrow, floor-length skirt. The use of exaggerated, structured ruffles tactfully emphasized the hourglass figure inside of a geometric frame. The intricately detailed ruffled shirts and lace pencil skirts could have been more teatime, but the choice of black was reminiscent of Victorian mourning culture.
This season, Van Noten’s signature prints were unlike the statement-making ethnic patterns of his prior collections. Instead he was en route to a more delicate destination – a simplistic mix of black and white etchings mixed with Japanese style flowers, branches and landscapes. Negating prints were blocked together to form clear-cut, crisp dresses that were non-gimmicky yet eye-catching – a clean execution that streamlined refinement. Perhaps the cleverest use of prints was the slightly mismatched divisions of single scenes that created the illusion of depth. In one standout piece, a loose-fitting dress portrayed a surreal universe that was triple tiered into an ocean, mountains, and palms – a picturesque world mapped out by Van Noten. And what girl wouldn’t want to get lost in that?