At no point was it more obvious to me that Dries Van Noten is one of the industry’s most undervalued designers than when I heard him speak at FIT. He owns his namesake label because he doesn’t want to put limits on his creativity, feel the pressure to design an “it” accessory – though he certainly has designed many worthy of being just that – or get sucked into the “fashion circus” that living outside of Antwerp would entail. This season, the designer’s creativity was on full display with a collection inspired by the East. Despite the likes of dragon coats, kimono-like silhouettes, and Asian-inspired prints, all elements we see time and time again on various runways, the collection felt fresh thanks to Van Noten’s unique digital prints.
Van Noten has long been known for his fantastic sense of color which is why his prints never seem kitschy. The designer knows how to perfectly balance solid versus print in each of his looks so that you can not only appreciate the prints, but the fabric, cut, and tailoring as well. As for the season's standouts, they included relaxed cuffed trousers and sharply tailored outerwear with angled shoulders.