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Dries Van Noten S/S 2013- Grunge at its most beautiful


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It’s everything that I love. It has that kind of menswear/women’s-wear kind of grungy, spontaneous feel,” said Dries Van Noten of his spring 2013 collection.

Spectacular and compelling, his show was powerful because of the aesthetic qualities conveyed in a weightless and airy manner. After watching the show, it is no secret that Dries Van Noten is sophisticatedly talented for mixing prints, textures and colours while using the most beautiful lightweight fabrics. Spring is truly in the air!

It was appropriate for Van Noten to choose an empty garage in Paris to present his collection. The industrial setting enhanced the feeling of nostalgia for 1990’s grunge. All the codes of this Seattle-born style were present on the catwalk. From floral patterns to plaid flannel prints and finally, menswear tailoring. But in the mastery hands of Van Noten, those fashion fundamentals were transformed. His choice of three-dimensional embellishments like ruffled 3-D flower appliqués plus fluid shapes and fabrics provided a romantic mood to the street born style.

An example would be, the familiar flannel button down shirt, coming down the catwalk in a number of faded shades and semi-sheer chiffons. Also, maxi-dresses and transparent pieces echoed throughout the show.

The beautiful colour palette chosen by Van Noten is worth admiring. Muted pastels are combined with earthier tones – traditional tartans are blended softly with rose, lilac, faded orange, peach, nude, russet, silver, blues, greens, and black. In addition, Van Noten did floral prints mixed with Prince of Wales check, plaid, tartan and beading.

One of my favorite looks featured an over-sized grey cashmere sweater, layered over a plaid shirt made from organza, which hung loose over floral-printed pants, over shorts. Other notable pieces include: a plaid shirt tucked into a richly embroidered skirt with lace overlay, and a sheer maxi gown worn over a shirt and pants.

Makeup artist Peter Phillips took on the grunge-heavy references by using a light shade of grey for the eyes and painting the lips in bright fuscia pink. For hair, Paul Hanlon also looked to 1990’s grunge movement for inspiration and created messy textured hairdos for the models.

Chia- Yuen Chen, JCI Fashion Grad

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