Some say that your gut reaction is often the most accurate, so it might be useful to take a look at what I tweeted immediately after seeing Dries Van Noten's fall 2014 show, which walked on Wednesday: "Offbeat psychedelic tribal botanist who's also a bit of a magpie."
While Van Noten has never been one to play it straight or safe -- there's enough quirky flourish there to register with the "hip" street style set -- this collection definitely seemed younger, wilder somehow -- befitting of such a crazy, fashion-speak description. This is Dries Van Noten...on his own brand of acid trip.
The prints came fast and they were trippy -- Op Art-looking swirly stripes made appearances on gorgeous coats and skirts in Noten's typically cool color combos, like violet and gray, and orange and navy (the silver and black overcoat was a stunner). Another retina-burning graphic -- a trio of bullseyes --was stamped on yet more jackets, and, most interestingly, in hot pink and slate, on a blue and yellow short-sleeved floral blouse. Oh, yes, there were florals, too, which anchored the zanier motifs with a hint of romance.
The designer also got unusually sporty this season (again, read: younger), serving up a little black jacket with oversized silver zippers and a cute little tribal-looking orange and black bomber. But, thankfully, the elegant-with-a-twist Dries woman was still present -- you could see her in those languid and curved silhouettes: the swishy skirts, the slouchy pants. The crystal pieces -- which reflected all colors of the rainbow under the bright lights -- were also very signature Dries, as he does seem to love a bit of unexpected sparkle.
Ultimately, there were so many shapes and lines and bright hues (including neons) at play that it so easily could have been overwhelming. But it worked. Masterfully. So well that you're sure to see many "inspired by" items hit the fast fashion circuit come fall. For those who thought those plaid knock-offs from spring 2013 were annoyingly everywhere, man, just you wait.