Dries Van Noten’s knack for old mansions and their lavish gardens has inspired more than one of his collections, and this season followed a similar pattern. “An imagined view from Kelmscott Manor [the country home of writer William Morris] on arts and crafts today,” the notes to his show informed. That translated into romantic visuals based on photo prints of floral tapestry and tonal patchworks.
Belted trenchcoats and high-waisted full-length pants, some of which had enough leg-room to fit two in, were familiar categories but still compelling ones — the type that have blessed the designer with a loyal following. There was a whiff of soft military, too, as the prints gradually grew into camouflage patterns, as seen on cropped carrot pants and utility jackets. To contrast, it was unclear where the designer was heading with a series of outerwear options boasting long fringy tassels, clearly inspired by Kelmscott’s noble interior but which would be unlikely to jibe with the cool kids on the streets.
Van Noten was at his best when he played with hybrid looks: Rendering tank tops as knitted sweaters minus the sleeves, or mixing panels of tapestry prints with metallic technical fabrics to produce sporty-cool jackets. The juxtaposition between smooth surfaces and rough, unfinished constructions, meanwhile, has been a growing trend this season.