DRIES VAN NOTEN S/S 2011: OOPS, HE DID IT AGAIN


Damn you, damn you, Dries Van Noten! Dear Dries: Please stop forcing me to like things I don’t usually like. I have to remain a woman of at least some principle, jeez…

I always know I’ve stumbled upon a genius when I suddenly start ooh-ing and ahh-ing over styles, cuts, and silhouettes that I usually… well, really don’t like. Case in point: skirts that hit mid-calf. I don’t like them. They make me think of the Amish and they make me (5’3”) look like I’m getting my Little House on till the break of dawn. Yet, when Dries Van Noten puts forth something that hits mid-calf (as you can see here), I find myself saying, Ok, well, this is the exception. HMM.

Coincidentally, Van Noten’s Fall 2009 collection (which seriously changed my life) was also full of mid-calf skirts and coats. And yet, that collection chimes in as one of my favorites of all time. Hmmm. Another example: the whole ombré thing. I’m not a fan of the ombré technique, generally speaking. I can’t say why exactly, but it inexplicably reminds me of cheap stuff I see at cheap stores at the mall. And yet… I AM TOTALLY IN LOVE with this yellow ombré belted jacket. Are you picking up on the pattern here?

Van Noten’s strength, in my opinion, lies in his consistently remarkable choices in color palette and in his unassuming, yet clearly expert, tailoring. This S/S’ 11 collection was virtually brimming with oversized, menswear-inspired (one word, ladies: BLAZERS… they’re still hotter than ever into next spring) pieces that somehow come off as quite feminine. I have no explanation. This man is a genius. These pieces are seemingly “simple,” yet Van Noten’s play on texture and color instantly render them interesting… enviable… super-duper chic.

I suppose this is why Van Noten is truly one of my top fave designers of all time. A grand statement, perhaps, but I kid you not when I say that I would be ecstatic in any one of the ensembles from this S/S collection (and all the ones that came before it, yes). Even the oversized-menswear-inspired-crazy-wide-leg pants + the oversized-menswear-inspired-crazy-big-blazer. Even. And yes, on my petite frame.

Subtle. Alluring. Ultimate, timeless chic.

Sorry, gotta run… I hear Yves Saint Laurent calling…
–JEAN CANDIDO
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