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Dries Van Noten AW14

A cult of acid rave, scientific deconstruction and centuries-old ritual riff on streetwear

Initial reaction:

The new youth religion: a cult of rave, scientific deconstruction and centuries-old ritual.


A circular, derelict space beneath the Grand Palais. Sat round its edge, we felt part of a ritualistic cult as a single solid ray of light penetrated the central stage, reminiscent of the ritual scene in the film ‘Eyes Wide Shut.’ The Rolling Stones dominated the soundtrack with “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Gimme Shelter”:

Oh, a storm is threat'ning/My very life today/If I don't get some shelter/Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away

For the finale, models appeared in troops of single colour – pink, blue, yellow, and green – like a cult procession.

Youth culture:

Riffs on street wear emanated from the strapped and patched trousers, in denim and tech finishes. Shrunken jackets were dripping with hardware strips and zips, while shirts were deconstructed and rebuilt with a patchwork of swatches, paint daubs, quilting and metal fastenings. Loose tie dye shorts had a street vibe, while faded and corduroy bombers felt dug out from a wardrobe of eighties ski wear.

Rave culture:

Like staring into the flashing lights at an underground rave: magenta pinks, acrid yellows, cobalt blue – blurred into an acid trip of tie dye that spread over trousers and jackets. A maroon camouflage coat was cut through with strobe lines of pink and grey, and boys walked with flashes of neon in their hair, like painted feathers.

High culture:

Opulent glossy furs in scarlet, emerald and acid yellow wrapped the neck, or lay languid over the deconstructed ensembles. Swooping city overcoats and a black velvet smoking jacket felt like hidden clues to our weekend raver/ritual lover’s daytime life. Piecrust collar blouses adorned with a single pearl  – a memory, a final link to centuries past.