Monday, August 25, 2008

Runway - Dries Van Noten: Fall 2008

Dries Van Noten, this season, provided us with a wide variety of pieces that are all easy to wear and darkly artistic while walking a line between severe and soft. Overall, the show was rich while fabrics appeared unusually light and flowing for menswear.

Layers and layers of light, rich fabrics hang gracefully from the man. This outfit creates a feeling of delicacy while layers add depth and dark colors keep it solemn. Pattern is introduced asymmetrically almost as a way to create the sense of another layer on the bottom half of the ensemble. What is fantastic about this season is that silk is being reintroduced into menswear through pieces extending beyond shirts. Here it creates a dark, yet airy statement as pants. As we saw in the Alexander McQueen post, multiple waistlines are introduced to create interesting yet flattering proportions.

The show has many pieces that allow you to appear serious, while introducing color, pattern, and soft fabrics. A billowy and intricate scarf is a simple way to do this. Note how the colors are used: they are saturated and complex; rather than lime green, use avocado; rather than royal blue, use midnight blue; and rather than white, use ivory. This careful use of color creates an embellished but serious look.

This piece, although needing to be better executed in detail and color, is a good inspiration point for a new menswear item. The bulkiness expresses masculinity while the use of a typical sweater as a reference point makes it easy to wear. Let’s hope to see this better thought out in future shows.

This is a breeze to recreate at multiple price points. Simple garments can be purchased, a size or two too big, to create a dramatic statement. Just make sure proportions are correct and that you’re not completely swimming in the piece. In the above example, it’s important to have the coat severely buttoned to the top to maintain a sense of purposefulness in the overly large sizing.

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