Dries Van Noten Emanates The Purity of Black In Latest Spring/Summer 2023 Collection

A black invitation reveals the passage to expansive technicolor prints.

Wall to wall, a bittersweet force, encompasses all those seated at Dries Van Noten’s Paris Fashion Week debut. As the story unravels, a debate confronts the contrast of elements; the purity of black, the suggestion of color in faded pastels, and a new rendering of flower print. For the archetypal Spring Summer collection of the eponymous label, darkness evolves into light as the collection progresses from dark hues into a youthful celebration of optimism. As this is Noten’s foremost womenswear debut since 2020, the show pays homage to intimate moments of protection, vulnerability, and sensuality.

With a nod towards the radicality of Russian avant-garde artist Kazimir Malevich’s infamous Black Square, a segment is devoted to spotlighting non-color in a series of structured pieces; jackets with oversized shoulders and dresses with sculptural waists.

A palette of muted pastels alludes to a memory of color. Stripping back allows details to pull focus through crushed pleats, fringing on cargo pants and a waterfall of layers draped across the body of a dress. In typical Noten fashion, flowers signify a long-standing expression. For this season, the design house revisits historic floral outlines, manipulating their scale. Some oversized, some shrunken to micro-prints – prints and textures collide.

Protection merges with vulnerability as the couture techniques contemplate the intimate nature of flowers through bold silhouettes. Transparency and lightness contrast with precision in a masculine jacket with a mousseline skirt. Matt sequins form one solid block of color, while others are iridescent, echoing the cobalt of the glass jewelry.

Accessories perpetuate a fragile yet robust allure; necklaces contain hand-blown glass bubbles and droplets. Shoes reveal cutaway panels, and heels curve and conceal. Disc-like jewels accompany the brass buttons on the coats and outerwear – gesturing to the physicality of clothes and the sensory pleasure in their movement.

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