PARIS--You can count on a few things from a Dries Van Noten show: masterful prints, relaxed masculine tailoring, and for the past few seasons, a decadent ornate multi-crystal-chandeliered setting at the Hotel de Ville. So today, four distinct observations from Dries Van Noten's fantastic 2012 show:
1. The Belgian print master took a trip to Asia for fall. According to Cathy Horyn at the Times, the Asian influence is quite literal: Van Noten told her the prints--Japanese, Chinese and Korean--came from photographs he took of costumes at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The brightly colored prints were chopped up and cut and pasted on silk tops and pleated skirts, on dresses and tunic tops, on pleat front trousers and on belted blazers with sharp lapels.
2. The collection was set to Bon Iver's "Woods" a somber counter to a colorful jumble of prints--not Kanye as Amanda Brooks Tweeted (she later realized Kanye sampled Bon Iver). The pauses in the song made for silences so long you could hear the clicks of heels and cameras. And I couldn't help but think that the lyrics--"I'm building a sill to slow down the time"--repeated over and over might be some kind of commentary on the too-fast disposable-designer pace of fashion right now. 3. Skirts over pants. This trend is so happening (see: Rag & Bone, Marc Jacobs, Prada etc.,). There were long tunic tops over tailored silk pants and then pleated short skirts layered over tapered trousers too.
4. The outerwear. Drool. Roomy bonded wool double breasted pea coats with the collars turned up, sporty parkas with fur lined hoods and collars, a cropped wool blazer coat with what looked like appliquéd tortoise shell dominoes, patchwork wool trenches, bright shocks of fur on chubbies.