Belgian fashion brand, Dries van Noten, has seen plenty of struggles come its way because of the eccentric designs and edgy looks they love to associate themselves with. This is perhaps why they’ve seeked out a soulmate in American music legend Kurt Cobain, for Spring/Summer 2013.
The Seattle high-life and Cobain’s personal hardships in coping with his highly-publicised personal life, and handling both an “almost surreal” kind of fame, as well as critical acclaim, as the spokesman for “Generation X” and the lead singer of Nirvana, formed the primary inspiration for this collection.
Using their strings of surprise in masterful strokes, comes naturally to Noten, but this was still a step further away from what you have come to expect from the fashion house. It was very seductive, to put it lightly, and the aesthetic was strong, the aura powerful.
Exploring prints, and the ways of haute couture in both the materials used and the cuts the outfits wore, gave rise to a collection where plaid, organza, crepe, cashmere, ruffles, chiffon, houndstooth, metallic, muslin, flower adornments, was very liberally used.
The models wore chequered print stilettos and oversized sunglasses in an artsy environment, and the clothes did look very demure and raw. Couture has gone oversized a bit too much off-late, as if last season’s sputterings were not enough of the look, but it still looked great: be it in grey, darker shades of purple or even lightly-tinted rose flames.
Soundtracks for the show weren’t off Nirvana no, but instead Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” and Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” were selected. This underpinned the modern flair of the show just perfectly because the emphasised hips on the jackets, the peplum dressings, were all quite controversial, if not in the very “playing by the complicated rules” arena.
The screen-printed flowers stood out a lot among the collection, even if they weren’t always vibrant, and sometimes just light and faded, simply, because Noten especially wanted to showcase art crafted by hand skilfully, for SS2013.