Inspired by 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', Van Noten stages a return to nature – complete with one of this season's defining moments: a surprise sit-down finale
“It's Midsummer Night's Dream. It's a girl who loves festivals – Glastonbury, Burning Man. She loves nature. She puts clothes together how she wants,” said Dries Van Noten after the show. “It was not really a collection – just a lot of nice clothes in really nice fabrics.” That was a modest understatement from the designer – this was a collection about more than just “nice fabrics”. It wasn’t festival attire in the conventional clichéd Coachella mould either. Instead, Van Noten mined all the subtle nuances as seen in Mother Nature (he’s a keen gardener, so knows how to get green-fingered) to create fabrics that shimmered and glistened like wet moss or eroded rocks. When rendered in relaxed tailoring and light carefree layers, this medley of rule-breaking Woodstock nymphs, certainly avoided any summer music fest conventions. Van Noten already had us when he sent out those lush fabrications. When the models began to descend, sitting or lying down gracefully on that tufted grass runway created by Argentinian artist Alexandra Kehayoglou, it was no wonder that editors were collectively swooning.
Keeping it in the Belgian family, Van Noten slowly introduced the track “Strange Entity” by up and coming Belgian band Oscar and the Wolf in a pulsating crescendo. The track faded in, layered with the sound of chirping birds and still countryside. It was the sort of ethereal soundscape you could get lost in.
Let’s lie down for a minute…:
We’ve already called Van Noten’s no-walk, lie-down finale a special moment, but it deserves further investigation. It was a memorable occurrence to savour in the context of an increasingly frenetic flurry of fashion weeks but also significant because with one beautifully simple gesture, stripped of any theatrics, performances or diversions, Van Noten was able to tell you that much more about the collection. Much like the Pre-Raphaelites – the designer had Sir John Everett Millais' painting “Ophelia” as a reference – we immediately understood how important it is to be at one with nature every once in a while. Or just to sit still and take it all in.
The soundtrack to Dries van Noten SS15: