DRIES VAN NOTEN
Rich in fashion history---throw in some music in there too---Dries Van Noten's ode to British street cred style is a refreshing take on Spring 2011.
After a sea of loungey, billowy, beach-side collections, Dries Van Noten takes on to the streets where real style is set to a test.
One of the best ways to critique or view a collection is by looking at the elements that make-up the show aside from the clothes. The skinny models with cropped hair . The dusty and empty parking lot. The cool, lyricless music. All in accordance to the codes of Dries' brand of tough chic. If at Burberry they took on studs and at Emporio Armani chains dominated, Dries Van Noten's richly and historically inspired collection had none of that kind of edge.
Here, the edge came in the form of acid-washed jeans, cut straight and clean, almost translucent grainy sweaters and shimmery suits, two-toned utilitarian wear such as belted and varsity jackets, leather patched and belted cardigans and ink-blotted pristine white shirts and trousers. It was artsy, crafty even, but very vintage rock without the flamboyance of fringes or the super-imposed masculinity of studs. What it offered, instead was a smart elegance to rough style, slightly widening the cuts of trousers, spilling on some paint over perfect white and pressing on squares of leather on black or navy cotton shirts, jackets and cardigans. It looked perfect against street lights or rusty construction sites but also interesting against social gatherings such as dressy and relaxed dinners or lunches.
Colors like fatigue green, dark grey, cream (a Spring 2011 favorite) and interesting shades of brown and red made up a fairly strained and well-worn in look that did wonders to the collection. Reminiscent of, according to reviews from Style.com and GQ, the ska and mod movements where short hair was in, pants were rolled to show socks---not preppy ankles---and when dressing up meant dressing down in handsome tailored and tasteful clothes.
Street style may have taken on some other kind of look such as geek street chic or hip hop style, but Dries Van Noten's version of street style is probably the most credible, for what we ought to wear down the streets should meet both style and comfort. Besides, the streets do take us on different locations and the best way to dress up is in comfortable clothes that look smart and durable.