Belgian Dries van Noten consistently creates some of the most covetable contemporary clothes. His collections are not challenging, visionary or overtly conceptual but instead are beautifully crafted and designed to look and be attainable. Thriving in a competitive market is difficult, but to play safe by producing only commercial clothes - could be seen as boring. Dries always manages to present new ideas sensitivly and without pretension. As groomed models strolled the catwalk they each carried a mini portable speaker which provided the upbeat show tunes. Was this Dries going DIY and moving away from his usual elaborate shows? Had the recession bitten the Belgium after all? Despite the low key production the clothes were typically Dries and celebrated a medley of muted colours and winter friendly textures, including wool and tweed. Navy, camel and gray were formalised on a selection of deconstructed coats and blazers, as sleeves were constructed in contrasting fabrics. College inspired blazers and sweat tops were stamped with a Dries insignia and gave the collection a youthfull out look. The preppy look was fresh for Dries, as sporty styling and slouchy silhouettes were mixed with relaxed tailoring to define a carefully balanced collection. Never minimal, Dries' collections fuse together many references that result in a distinctively unique aesthetic. Dries doesn't need to change the menswear landscape as his approach is in sync with contemporary dressing. By building his business on a philosophy of creating unique garments that are seasonless, Dries allows his customers to take singular items and personalise them into their individual styles. But maybe next season Dries' signature showmanship will return.
His collections are not challenging, visionary or overtly conceptual but instead are beautifully crafted and designed to look and be attainable.