Dries Van Noten‘s muse this season was the Marchesa Luisa Casati and the poet Gabriele d’Annunzio. The two were well-known for their tumultuous love affair, but Casati has long been the muse to the creative world. She served as inspiration to the Italian Futurists like Fortunato Depero and Umberto Boccioni; She was said to have inspired Romain de Tirtoff (Erté); Coco Chanel supposedly bid on her personal possessions in an auction in the 1930’s; and Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig of Marchesa named their brand after Casati.
The Marchesa and d’Annunzio were known for leading a life of excess, and extravagance is the name of the game this season. Chez Dries that meant tons and tons of leopard, gold jaquard, crests and country club jackets, feather and pearl accents, and silk polka dot robes. It was divinely regal with a plenty of menswear influences to further suggest the power statement. The models exaggerated smokey eyes were a nod to the Marchesa’s signature look, but also were a nod to the madness of those that can afford to be wonderfully uninhibited and slightly unhinged. Excess is not always a good thing (Marchesa Luisa Casati eventually amassed a personal debt to the tune of $25 million), but in Dries Van Noten’s hands it looks, rather convincingly, like it’s splendid to step over the edge.