Apples don’t fall far from their trees. Dries Van Noten’s former design director, Sander Lak — making what was probably the most anticipated debut during New York Fashion Week — has branched out in a way certain to go the distance. He was cast by fairy-investor-godparents Nancy and Howard Marks to build a luxury label from scratch, which he called Sies Marjan, a combination of his parents’ given names. But as Newtonian law dictates, the Dries influence weighted heavily, most obviously on his familiar use of color combinations: warm pastels offset by natural tones. This is not to say that there was no freshness here; Lak has a decisively more urban, utilitarian hand.
For starters, he sent out a beautiful wispy silk floral mid-length dress with a twisted cutout detail at the bodice, followed by a cargo pant and tunic version. But it was the Impressionist-printed jacket and matching wrap skirt, adorned by a fur stole worn like a slouchy backpack, that set the tone he described in the program: “femininity, elegance, imperfection.”
A disheveled button-down shirt, with oversize trousers — and again, a hanging fur stole — was next-generation chic. Lak also paired languid tiered knits or big imperfect-ruffled blouses with diaphanous skirts, and showed trench coats that hung from the models’ backs on halter straps. It was all very, very cool.