Given the amount of prints we saw on the Milan runways, I was surprised that there wasn’t an abundance of them at print-master Dries Van Noten’s show. No matter – the break from a parade of prints was a welcome one, and the Belgian designer showed a wearable, on-trend (without being trendy) collection that had a distinct Oriental and menswear inspiration. And yes, the designer’s collection incorporated florals, one of the season’s major trends.
Less eclectic and more directional than past collections, Van Noten showed easy, baggy, and slightly wrinkled wide leg trousers, blushingly soft ombré prints on coats, dresses and jackets, and peaceful, light Oriental garden-like prints (the designer was inspired by Chinese ceramics), floral embroidery, intricate iridescent paillette details, high shine structured jackets (notably holograph bombers), and sheer ponchos. This felt like an effortless collection that perfectly mirrored Van Noten’s “handsome woman” mind frame.
In fact, although we’ve seen less emphasis on shoulders this season, Van Noten opted to bring a menswear-inspired wide shoulder back, resulting in gorgeous boyfriend-style jackets that played on volume with structured shoulders and loose silhouettes. Aside from the blazers and wide leg trousers, the menswear inspiration resulted in a classic white cotton t-shirt being re-imagined in a slew of different ways, including a beautiful, almost kimono-like, thin dress.
The play on volume continued in a few looks that created a wonderfully wispy, slightly billowing effect via slender belts. Square, floral painted shoes complemented the collection.