Dries Van Noten celebrated his one hundredth traipse down the runway during Paris Fashion week with his Fall/Winter 2017 collection. A vivacious celebration of the graceful passage of time, the show combined allusions to the roots of previous collections with an innovative look to the future.
Upon graduating from Antwerp’s Royal Academy, the Belgian designer worked as a consultant designer before starting his menswear collection in 1986. Positive regard came almost immediately; contracts with high-end stores came flying in. Van Noten has won multiple awards including the CFDA designer of the year, signaling that one hundred shows are only the beginning.
To look forward one must also look back, a feat Van Noten performs effortlessly. For the show he booked models from previous shows, Kristina de Coninck walked in his first show and opened for this show in an iridescent orange coat highlighted with geometric blue triangles buttoned over straight-leg blue jeans.
Nearly fifty models ages twenty through fifty walked the runway not only to pay homage to the feat of one hundred shows but also to represent the sweeping consumer base.
Though much of the collection took cues from menswear with oversized suit jackets, trench coats, and wide-leg pants, the show celebrated the power of women and graceful aging. Van Noten brought patterns from previous collections and layered geometric motif over the more abstract looks. Though distinct and individual, neither pattern overpowered the other, coexisting in a harmony of color and shape. The layering of patterns, fabrics, and garments added depth to the show, while fur and texture enhanced the patterns in each look.
Dries Van Noten’s triumphant hundredth show honored his past designs while staying true to the current look and gazing toward the future of the brand. As he told The New York Times, “Women dressing as they would like to dress themselves, to express who they truly are.”
Featured Image via Flickr/Alix