Dries Van Noten Fall 2016: The Gilded Theater of Menswear

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Dries Van Noten is Setting the Tone for the Current Wave of Opulence in Menswear

Dries Van Noten sent out wrap skirts in khaki over leggings with flamboyant military style jackets scattered with insignias to represent an army of ‘peacock peaceniks.’  These clothes are not meant for war, but more so for dreaming with a nostalgic reference to the 70s. “I was thinking of the Sixties Psychedelia of Beatniks and LSD and how Vietnam vets ripped their medals off and turned their uniforms into something crazy and cosmic, ” he explained. The collection was also heavily influenced by artist Wes Wilson, whose colorful, balloon-shaped writing defined an era of music. Van Noten’s tribute resulted in hallucinatory graphics from Wilson’s concert posters printed on sweatshirts, jackets and military style coats. Wilson’s acid prints looked perversely opulent, while golden insignia patches stitched onto bombers and sweaters lived up to Van Noten’s inventive knack for embellishment.  A series of coats and bomber jackets also came in gold, jacquard, embroidered with peacocks which added to the majestic feel of the collection.

A modified army trenchcoat also doubled as a kilt, when worn over printed long johns, and shiny brogue boots. Other silhouettes include roomy, wide leg shorts paired with a cropped trench jacket, bombers, and a flowing mid-length velvet robe.  The shorts were rendered in various fabrications, including silk and military grade fabrics, and a burgundy velvet.  Military trench coats were also in the mix and stood out in black or navy with rich gold swirling ribbons snaking down a shoulder or along the front of a coat. The theme continued with an arsenal of heavy, gold embroidered military patches and insignias affixed onto vests and heavy topcoats with collars coming in either fur or shearling.

After the show, Dries remarked, “What is reality? What is the dream? Where does everything start and begin? So for me it was really good to be able to show here onstage and not in a room. It turns your world a little bit upside down.” The decadent show at the Opera Garnier was a huge success with a collection that perfectly matched the gilded venue.


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