Dries Van Noten found a sartorial expression for these uneasy times — a shirred Neopolitan shoulder as a metaphor for “a little bit of tenderness and support.
“Everybody needs a strong shoulder to lean on,” the Belgian designer offered.
This slightly puffed sleeve head, achieved with a cigar of horsehair and wadding, also fed the gender-fluid mood of his fall men’s collection, which featured sparkly lurex pants and filmy shirts intermingled with oversized puffer jackets and handsome, double-breasted topcoats.
The fashion messages were subtle, but direct: dress trousers and cargo pants are baggy, sportswear is ’90s-inspired, while prints are vaguely tropical or simply abstract splashes of color.
Van Noten plans to stick to a filmed presentation for women’s fashion week in Paris next month, and here Danish photographer Casper Sejersen turned his frosted lens on a gaggle of guys and gals smooching, flirting and cavorting in a crumbling Paris mansion.
“Dream Baby Dream,” a propulsive 1979 track from English band Suicide, underscored the look of androgynous rockers of yore — with one model a ringer for a young Kurt Cobain.
Quirky accessories added to the playful, carefree spirit of the collection: thin, glittering scarves, or bucket hats made of the same mohair fluff employed by German teddy-bear maker Steiff. Quilted board shorts and shocking pink trousers — offbeat styles that keep cropping up in men’s collections this season — also made an appearance.
Van Noten noted that his men’s and women’s collections have long shared similar fabrics and silhouettes, though cut to fit and flatter each gender’s body shape. “It would be a pity to erase all the differences and make something like saggy garments with elastic waists,” he mused.