Van Noten’s Use Of Colour Lights Up The Darkness

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The Belgian designer’s magpie eye and flair for color have won him critical praise and a loyal customer base, but the Antwerp-based master outdid himself with his collection, a tour de force that showcased his intuitive feeling for fabrics, which is nearly unparalleled in the business.

He sent out drop-waisted sheathdresses in a patchwork of orange, and electric blue silks printed with liquid swirls that were full of surprises: A swath of shimmering sequins or lustrous lame that dressed up a single sleeve, or an unexpected graphic black and white panel, visible only when the model turned her back.

Ultra-wide-legged trousers were paired with cropped jackets in satin brocade, lined at the lapel with black astrakhan. The translucent plastic-heeled booties made sharp clacking noises on the wooden catwalk, a gilded ballroom at Paris City Hall.

There was a vaguely ’70s feel about the collection, but it was less of a recognizable influence than a suggestion — a mere hint. Really, the collection was pure, unadulterated Dries.