Dries Van Noten Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear: Out With Quiet Luxury, in With Audacious Everyday

Quiet luxury is getting quashed in Paris by the audacious everyday.

“Wearable doesn’t have to be boring,” Dries Van Noten said during a preview of his fall 2024 collection, dismissing in a Belgian stroke the conservative minimalist moment that’s dominated fashion for a while.

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“It’s quite a strong woman, a woman who dares to cut her own fringe [bangs], she has an attitude, she enjoys contradictions, she wants to be loved but she wants control,” he said of his muse for the season.

She also knows how to make an entrance. At his show space, the raw concrete ghost of a C&M retail store on Boulevard Haussmann (there’s been a lot of former retail venues this season — a sad sign of the times), the first few models entered in complete silence. But once you looked up from your phone, you couldn’t look away.

These women were commanding but comfortable in super chic real clothes in a Necco wafer palette — a butter yellow crewneck sweatshirt deconstructed, twisted and pinned in the back over a pink short sleeve sweatshirt, pale green duchesse satin shorts and tall boots; a twisted gray melange jersey blouson top and draped skirt set; a houndstooth pants suit dripping broken necklace embroidery, and a petal shaped faded denim skirt that will be a fall must-have for many because it’s versatile and special.

Van Noten has always loved a powerful woman, he said, reminiscing about the late Claude Montana’s influence on his work. “He was one of my heroes.…There were two outfits of Claude Montana in my exhibition with the shoulders and the fringe.…It was one of the elements which formed my design. It was an awakening to see his incredible shows, you discover the possibilities of fashion and what you could translate, which for me was incredible,” he said, recalling the 1980s.

“For those few years you had Versace, Mugler, Montana, Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood, Katharine Hamnett, then the Japanese designers, for six or seven years we had a bombardment of talent and visions, going from punk to New Romantics to New Wave.”

He channeled his own artistic expression onto the runway here, slowing down the pace of the show so one could appreciate the Rothko-like brown, blue and pink painted color field on a silk coat, and the 3D embroidery on the sleeves of a cropped, checked, double-breasted blazer, worn over jeans.

Even the grid print on a twisted, bias-cut dress was hand done. “We didn’t want anything that was perfect or clean, so we started by hand drawing everything,” he said of searching for a feeling of spontaneity.

Outerwear made a bold statement in couture-inspired shapes. The beautifully cut tan puffer raincoat that opened the show, a cotton candy colored faux fur, a butter yellow coat with sculpted kimono sleeves and a camel coat with denim sleeves were just a few of the compelling offerings.

“We erased all details, you have darts and seams to create shapes, but the buttons are fabric covered, so everything is really about all of these really strange color combinations,” he said of the hues, among them acid green and sapphire blue. (Color is turning out to be quite a trend this season — the stranger the better.)

There were also versatile statement extras that could make a whole outfit, like a crystal trimmed black silk short crop top with an elegant train in the back that could be worn over a T-shirt and jeans, and a long pistachio green faux fur scarf wrap with a single sleeve to drape around the shoulders in a dramatic way.

Because in addition to showing clothes, Van Noten teaches a way of dressing that’s fun and fearless. If nothing else, why not try wearing a button-down shirt front to back, or with the cuffs hanging out long below the sleeves like his models did?

“She’s a woman who takes a piece of fabric and wraps it around herself,” Van Noten said of his muse. “But it takes a lot of effort to look this effortless.” Bring it on.

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Launch Gallery: Dries Van Noten Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection

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