Dries vs Zombies

I had a dream about Dries van Noten last night. It was the zombie apocalypse - a group of us had dashed to a train station to avoid the undead horde and, whilst we were hiding in an empty freight, who should wander by but Mr van Noten himself. He was as cool as a cucumber, hands in pockets, whistling and paying no attention to the hungry zombies. In fact his mere presence seemed to drive them off. He was our savior.

"I got this"

This dream says more about what van Noten means to me than about van Noten himself. Apparently my subconscious thinks Dries van Noten is a hero akin to motherfukin Aragorn with powers that lie beyond, and are entirely due to, his design skills. And you know what? I'm going to consciously stand by my sub-conscious because Winter 2012 was awesome (you can tell I'm going to be a writer with this vocabulary).

It started with those blues. The navy. The cobalt. The powder. I think I can now visualise the colours of heaven. If I were a proper reviewer, for a proper publication, I would say something like "the striking blues that opened the show revealed supreme confidence from van Noten - here is a designer in his prime". But uh, I'm not so I'm going to have to leave that sort of snappy writing to the pros.

You can see in these first three looks, and it ran throughout the rest of the collection, that there was this beautiful light sense of movement and fluidity. It made me think of all those sassy ladies leaping and fighting in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers (the costume design in these movies is amazing). And this of course ties in with the main story for this collection - that van Noten visited the Victoria and Albert Museum and checked out Chinese, Korean and Japanese textiles. He loved them so much he reproduced them and printed 'em straight on the clothes! I hated the cityscape prints of last season, but these prints are just gorgeous. Everything is telling me that you should not cut up and block such complicated textiles, but van Noten has worked magic here. And that gold embroidery... just... ugh... I have no words.

And van Noten is well known for having a penchant for khaki and utilitarian elements which straddle that fine line between taste and tackiness and, as always, emerge gloriously triumphant. I've spent the last week scouring second-hand shops for fur-hooded jackets with some relation to these (as can be expected, no dice). And of course when van Noten does evening, he really goes for it. It's all gold and sleek and shiny and so formidable that I can't imagine anyone pulling any of it off except for perhaps Isabella Rossellini.

runway images from vogue.com

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