Imagine sitting in a grassy field where the birds are singing and the music is flowing freely. A tambourine girl in your favorite band throws you a flower from her hair and you catch it in clasped hands with enough joy to fill the heart of any blooming flower-child. A fashion show is like a rock concert in the sense that it can leave you paralyzed with sentiment. Just like Jimi Hendrix’s Star Spangled Banner, the Dries Van Noten Spring/Summer 2015 collection evokes one word: classic. The models seemed to be floating down the runway as if they were dazed and confused, if you will. They looked like they were headed on a journey to Woodstock in 1969.
Complete with fringe, paisley and psychedelic prints, “the show was a stylist’s triumph, layering the infinite gorgeous possibilities of color, pattern, and weight into persuasively coherent outfits” (Tim Blanks). Cotton candy stripes contrasted miss-matched patterns. Masculine silhouettes were adorned with a hint of feminine sparkle and sweaters were hemmed with transparent sequins. A look with a shimmering bandeau worn over a long blazer exemplified the masterful layering when paired with a flowing midi-skirt. Overall, the collection served a clientele of hippie-clad festival-goers who understand the values of investment pieces i.e. Dries Van Noten pajama trousers and bermuda shorts.
The show was a transcendent dream and told the story of “a girl who loves the full moon but also the sunlight” (Vogue). Inspired by John Everett Millais’ Ophelia and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Van Noten created a tranquil and organic setting for his designs. Coming from a man whose gardens contend Versailles, a mossy, earth-like carpet was among the magical creations for the show. At the finale, the models gently marched down the runway and perched themselves on the vast green space. They lied down and braided each other’s hair as the music, lights and sounds of birds slowly faded away.
Watching the show was truly a spiritual experience - not because of the technicolored dreamcoats, but the simple fact that the righteous finesse of fashion’s messiah keeps everyone believing that innovation and creativity still thrive. Just like the bands that took the stage during “3 Days of Peace & Music,” Dries Van Noten has proven further that natural talent and a devotion to craft will rest easily in history.