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Show Report

Show Report: Dries Van Noten S/S 17 Womenswear

by Lucy Norris on 30 September 2016

Lucy Norris reports on the Dries Van Noten S/S 17 womenswear show.

Lucy Norris reports on the Dries Van Noten S/S 17 womenswear show.

Dries Van Noten S/S 17 Womenswear

Floral sculptures by Azumo Makota were placed under spotlights, and encased in huge blocks of ice. The temperature was sky high, and the audio playing was the sound of dripping water. It seemed we were all apparently melting. 

Backstage, Dries Van Noten was talking about an 'anti-technology' message. He was also taking about opposites. 'It was about either the most exquisite jacquards or something very bare, all colour or no colour. It was about prints of huge bunches of flowers - or a garment where we just focused on the structure. I wanted it to be about contrasts, in the most direct way.'

As ever, a highly emotional collection, it was imbued with lots of Victorian memento mori style pieces. Black bugle beads were worked onto black blouses, caplets and mourning gowns. Insisting that the mood was not melancholic, the designer said: 'No, no - my mood was a happy one! I do think you need to have an element of melancholy within that though, so that you are feeling many things.' Indeed, net veils in bright blue revealed a set of mixed emotions.

Madonna's Frozen played at the show. The link to the ice lining the runway - and the black Olivier Theyskens gown she wore in the infamous Chris Cunningham music video - was not lost. Indeed, backstage he was citing Madonna as an overall inspiration - as well as Prince, recently deceased.

Japan was also another key reference point. Orientalist yellow was a key counter colour to black, and floral patterns included oversized cut outs of orange and yellow Chrysanthemums. The kimono jackets were also standout.

Let's not forget that contemporary fashion designers - such as Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo - are ardent fans of the momenti mori aesthetic. In this way, this collection was a conversation with many interlinking asides and connections.

Summing up the collection, Van Noten declared, 'It was from my heart.'

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