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Versus Hires Jonathan Anderson November 29th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM


Cacharel Unveils New CEO, in Major Corporate Revamp November 21st, 2012 @ 00:56 AM


Kane Drops Out of Versus in Major Shake-up November 20th, 2012 @ 10:14 AM


Pucci’s Madison Avenue Store Debuts Massive Expansion November 16th, 2012 @ 00:35 AM


Ghesquière Departs Balenciaga in Major Surprise November 05th, 2012 @ 00:43 AM


Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Between Optimism and Fear November 02nd, 2012 @ 00:28 AM


London Unveils Men’s Season Schedule November 01st, 2012 @ 00:36 AM


Azzaro Releases Castello Branco October 25th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Revenue Soars 22 Percent at LVMH in First Three Quarters October 16th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Rykiel Names Geraldo da Conceicao Artistic Director September 21st, 2012 @ 8:12 PM


Brazil’s New London Pop-Up September 21st, 2012 @ 7:20 PM


McQueen Men Returning Home to London September 12th, 2012 @ 7:19 PM


Roitfeld, Mum and Son, Open in Brazil September 07th, 2012 @ 00:54 AM


Berluti Opens to Big-Time Business in London September 06th, 2012 @ 3:27 PM


Stefano Pilati Back with a Bang at Zegna September 05th, 2012 @ 7:10 PM


Hugo Boss Wows in Berlin, Plans for New York July 06th, 2012 @ 00:17 AM


Salvatore Ferragamo: Crusin’ the Louvre June 13th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM


Michel Klein Gains New Backer; Launches Sunglass Collection June 13th, 2012 @ 00:48 AM


Sykes Jettisoned by Aquascutum; Maurer In at Rabanne June 06th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Dries' Conceptional Mega Patchwork

Godfrey Deeny
February 29th, 2012 @ 3:13 PM - Paris

It's the true mark of an important designer that he can take a concept, translate it into beautiful clothes and then see them influence the way women dress all over the world. Which is what will happen with the latest collection from Dries Van Noten, a mega print meditation and posh battlefield chic aesthetic that won the designer an enormous cheer in his show in Paris on Wednesday, Feb. 29.

Van Noten has been staging his women's shows for the past several seasons in Paris' baroque City Hall, though this fall 2012 collection looked like the one most suitable for this location. For the very mix of strict neo-classical fluted columns and curly gilded decoration was echoed by the spiraling designs on the clothes.

Dries has been very good lately at dipping into all sorts of different cultural inputs. Where his February men's collection was based on Dutch artist Gijs Frieling or his last women's show on photographs by young artist James Reeve, today he went in a completely opposite direction for fall 2012. The designer looked at classic Asian dress. He was even photographed in a Korean pink silk coat for a backstage TV interview, and went about deconstructing a pattern of print from the two dimensional into the three-dimensional. This meant that classic sleeves were aligned as print on the center of the body to give the collection a fresh spin and unexpected twist.

He also teamed up with Victoria & Albert Museum in London, tapping into their Oriental costume archives with brilliant results. Clearly, Van Noten always likes to balance his mighty inspirations with street wear and his military khakis grounded the colorful print party on his dresses and coats.

It all felt very new, in particular the officer's ceremonial coats, whose bullion insignia were reimagined as cranes flying toward the heavens. There was a particularly elegant turquoise finale where a group of the kimono prints looked like Escher architectural drawings, that brought an appreciative rumble of sighs from the audience, perched on bleachers in the historic setting.

In terms of silhouette, however, Van Noten cleaves a little too much to the restrained. He clearly finds short dresses and exposed flesh a little vulgar, so the collection did miss more adventure in its cutting. Where just above the knee is the skirt length throughout all the major shows in Europe this month, he finished half way down the skin. An oddity when he wraps his women in military coats that the designer does not feel they are tough enough to go out in public in a short skirt.

That said, this was an impressive fashion statement by a designer who is very much setting the stylistic agenda today.

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