Last season, Dries Van Noten sexed up his always-luxe, individualistic women with bustiers and tight pencil skirts. And on Wednesday in Paris, he went in the opposite direction with fall. He showed a collection that was covered-up and largely menswear-inspired, a concept he interpreted in his own clever way.
It was his version of genderless dressing, which instead of the unisex sportswear and denim we're used to seeing from New York's gender-fluid brands, involved wide-leg suits, tuxedos, pearl-encrusted ties, silk robes and pajamas that featured stunning prints. "Fused gender" was mentioned in the brand's show notes, as were the words "handsome, formal and oversized" to describe the aesthetic of the clothing. This season's eccentric Dries woman clearly doesn’t borrow from the boys; she borrows from the men, though there were a few more casual pieces mixed in, like varsity jackets and collegiate sweater vests. To keep the collection from feeling at all one-note, decadent accents like (faux) furs, blouses constructed entirely of pearls, coats of arms, sheer black gloves and an embroidered serpent motif were sprinkled throughout.
The beauty look included a slicked-back ‘do that recalled a typical men’s haircut. Paired with a very heavy black smokey eye, it gave off a notably badass vibe — one we've been seeing a lot of this Fashion Month — but one that, in this case, did not overpower the clothes. Individually, there were a number of pieces to send fashion editors' hearts aflutter, from the statement-making coats and blazers to the equally head-turning boots with jeweled heels. They were practically made for a close-up street style shot.
See it all below.