The invitation for Dries Van Noten arrived to our hotel as a tiny clear box filled with moss. The message became clearer inside the venue where hazy lighting hung over a carpeted runway that was woven to look like moss. The carpet was done by Alexandra Kehayoglou, an Argentinian who is the 4th generation in a family business of carpet makers. We heard the piece took 16 days to make and arrived only the day before. Anyone that dared walk on the carpet pre-show to greet a friend on the other side was promptly reprimanded.
What followed were rainbow stripes patterns on silk pants, long flowy dresses, shifts, and vest coats. A pair of striped board shorts were worn with a tiny bandeau bra top and bomber jacket and model Hanne Gaby Odiele’s striped silk pants, slouchy printed chiffon top, and long coat came accessorized with white platforms and an oversize deer fur clutch. The outerwear was outstanding and was done in such typically unique Van Noten prints and fabric combos, that the feeling is always that if you are buying Dries you are truly getting something special and hard to copy. The collection was Dries’ fantasy of a hippie and it was a much chicer, newer version than we’ve seen on other runways. For the finale, the models all sat or laid down on the mossy carpet like a sit-in, except they were hardly protesting and neither were we. The models remained, as the fashion flock left their seats to see the clothes up-close. Some of the guests, like Parisian stylist Catherine Baba, laid down and joined them. We can hardly imagine anything more apropos of the inspirational era du saison.