After 32 years of independence, Dries Van Noten recently sold a majority stake of his company to Puig family. If this latest menswear collection is any indication of mood, the future is certainly looking bright for the Belgian designer.
Van Noten’s collaborative spirit was ingrained in the very DNA of collection via a creative partnership with the estate of Danish architect and designer, Verner Panton. The show opened with topless model in a pair of drawstring shorts emblazoned with a bright geometric pattern upon which set the tone for a relaxed, print-heavy collection.
Rotund, retro prints played havoc with the eye, appearing from head-to-toe, across tops, shirts, trousers, long gabardines and pvc raincoats in dazzling tones of royal blue or blends of acid yellow, shocking pink, red and orange. A large graphic of Panton’s own hand, rescaled, appeared on shirts and tops, literally stamped on models chests. Forms were effortless and easy; workwear, a staple of the brand, was seen throughout, vying with elegant suiting on the runway. Fabrics created textured contrasts from high gloss, to muted linen and cotton suiting.
If this collection is anything to go by, Van Noten’s new backing is allowing the designer more freedom to explore collaborations and experimentations, which yield adventurous and striking results that will drive the brand into its next chapter. This is optimism for the future at its most chic.