The scene was something akin to a bohemian studio. Dutch artists, Gijs Frieling and Job Wouters created freely along the gallery space that would serve as the backdrop for the latest Dries van Noten collection in Paris.
Fall/Winter 2012 opens with an explosion of color and a clear message told through gradiented text, playful proportions and a vibrant palette of color and print. This collection lends to suggest that menswear should be directed toward a less rigid, simplistic brand of elegance. Dries was clearly having a touch of fun here as he rendered a painterly reworking of the beatnik youth. A stream of looks showcasing DIY painting techniques and street art inspired graphics as prints were certainly optimistic if not entirely playful, exhibited in sharp suit à la Look 30.
The Dries man remains eclectic as ever in his sensibilities this season boasting a discreet eccentricity. Jackets and coordinates in vivid hues and busy prints were pared down against the occasional carrot legged trouser in cool grays and poignant blacks. As far as textiles are concerned, we find present the usual suspects of fine menswear suiting; wool, tweed and a poplin shown in contrast alongside webby knits, hairy textures and even a few pops of velvet. Accessories were silent yet strong save for a standout matching pair of crocodile loafers and a clutchfolio sporting a wild sienna racing stripe.
Always the closet romantic, van Noten plays it slick with a dollop of color here, a hint of volume there and lots of experimentation While the look was definitely groovy in its ease and vibrance, certain retro-naval distinctions will catch ones eye. Touches are subtle yet direct as whip-smart but easy going outerwear and interpretations of the suit take center stage for Fall/Winter 2012.