Oct 05, 2017 | By Carlene Thomas Bailey
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Paris: It all started with a men’s button-up shirt this spring for Dries Van Noten. His muse was “a handsome woman”, one who makes bold statements with simple clothes – perhaps borrowing from her boyfriend, adding a bit of her weekend wardrobe, mixing in a few pieces of her special occasion reserve. It was a simple concept – one that has been explored countless times – but in Van Noten’s hands, the basic became the profound, both beautiful and incredibly alluring. The crisp classic shirt was reworked in sheer silks and cut into a range of proportions and silhouettes: curved hems, square hems, high-low – all were accounted for. The most compelling statements came in the styling, with the shirts appearing under sheer T-shirt dresses, casually tucked into high-waisted pencil skirts, over sequined pants, and under super-oversized tuxedo jackets à la David Byrne in Stop Making Sense. In Van Noten’s world, nothing is too precious, and that attitude extended to his signature prints. Delicate florals, borrowed from Chinese ceramics, were treated with a stain-like degradé effect inspired by the work of Belgian artist Jef Verheyen. The technique read as an artful final word on the ombré trend, even appearing in bleached-out form on wide-legged jeans. A bit disheveled, boxy, layered and slouchy – yet all so effortlessly elegant – the handsome woman has never looked this sexy.
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