Oct 05, 2017 | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
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After taking a brief break from the innovative print mixing he is known for, Dries Van Noten returned with a collection that reasserted his position as the pioneer of the emerging clashing pattern trend. The designer cast his net around the world, culling indigenous textiles from every corner and molding them into a collection that captured both quintessential Van Noten and effortless Parisian chic. The inspiration seems to be a popular one for spring — Oscar de la Renta presented a more literal take in New York, and Dai Fujiwara gave international textiles a Western slant for Issey Miyake last week. However, for Van Noten, the theme was a natural extension of his aesthetic and not merely a seasonal whim, as he skillfully united the international assemblage through modern silhouettes, an earthy color palette (with touches of black and white), and his signature offbeat styling. Trousers were fashioned out of Uzbekistan ikats and African batiks, and jackets came in Chinese cherry blossom brocades and South American stripes — all cut slightly short and wide for a quirky look. Van Noten treated the fabrics with reverence, draping jewel-toned Southeast Asian sari silks, all in one piece, into skirts with trains and asymmetrical shifts, cleverly using the border prints to accentuate silhouette. Chunky necklaces with heavy geometric pendants topped off the exquisite costumes, replacing last year’s bell necklaces as the accessory of the season. Jackets were worn in disheveled fashion, off one shoulder, presenting the perfect image of the Van Noten woman — always on the move, always relaxed, and always elegant.
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