Dries Van Noten is not a designer of the rough-and-tumble school, which is why the collection he showed on Thursday night was surprising. It intriguingly channeled skinhead style without resorting to too many punk clichés—only heavily bleach stained denim, and army boots with baggy shorts. His signature cardigans had intentional snags, and were fastened with leather straps. Van Noten interspersed these among more characteristic fare including elegantly tailored jackets, coats and fine shirts, sometimes in bland Seventies fabrics or with contrasting sleeves, both of which he’s been known to experiment with. Paint-splattered shirts gave a nod to the graffiti-marred, subterranean space, which was helpful for understanding the concept. But clearly Van Noten is more adept in realms of gentility.

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