NOBLE EXPERIMENTS
TRYING SOMETHING NEW IS OFTEN A GOOD THING, WHETHER OR NOT IT WORKS. OLIVIER THEYSKENS DID IT THIS SEASON, DELIVERING SOPHISTICATED, WEARABLE CLOTHES, WHILE DRIES VAN NOTEN TONED DOWN THE ETHNIC ELEMENTS IN HIS COLLECTION. AND AT ISSEY MIYAKE, NAOKI TAKIZAWA CREATED EXTRAORDINARY FABRICS, EVEN SOME WITH HORIZONTAL CRIMPING.

Dries Van Noten: Acclaimed for the romance and subtle ethnic touches he brought to fashion over the last eight years, Dries Van Noten is now charting a new direction for his house. But he may have strayed a bit too far from his bohemian roots with this runway effort. Many of the clothes seemed drained of personality in the pursuit of hip. A fine tailor, the designer can cut a wool coat, a belted black suit and a pair of tight pants with the best of them. But it wasn’t until a tweed coat appeared in an orange sherbet shade, followed quickly by a chic leather trench in the same offbeat pastel color, that it felt truly like Dries. There were other strong items, including cowlneck chiffon tops in lemon yellow and gray; and long and lean skirts composed of a sunburst of panels. It was a taste of the specialness Van Noten’s customers crave, but it left the audience hungry for more.

Issey Miyake: The fabrics Miyake design director Naoki Takizawa develops always leaves one grasping for words. His fall collection featured horizontal crimping that let clothes stand away from the body and triangular pleats and tucks that made dresses and skirts look as if they were composed of peaks of meringue. Things sometimes got a little bulky, but then Takizawa showed a version in striped fabric that actually slimmed things down. Who knew? With howls of wind blowing, Takizawa evoked a winter wonderland theme, replete with aurora borealis prints.