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#SuzyPFW: Dries Van Noten’s Escape to Happiness; Aalto’s Clear Vision

The Belgian designer is a poet with the palette, while Finland’s Aalto label plays with a rainbow of shades.

Dries Van Noten’s collection for Spring 2018 showed a masterful treatment of colour, cut and silhouette. Indigital

Dries Van Noten

As the colors – blush pink, lilac, orange, yellow, green, and a base of black – faded away and after Dries Van Noten had received tumultuous applause, backstage the designer tried to explain the flow of his show.

It started with shades of brown and pinky beige, before a patterned scarf here or a flower print there brought in a sun-drenched vision of a magical afternoon.

Dries Van Noten Spring 2018. Indigital

“I wanted to make an optimistic collection,” the designer said as the models walked by, their eyes traced with twinkling crystal and their outfits so rich in texture, fabric, and decoration when seen up close.

Dries Van Noten Spring 2018. Indigital

“We always say that fashion has to be a reflection of what’s happening in the world, and this time I said, ‘No – let’s escape’,” he continued. “So the starting point is a piece of work by Picasso, which takes scraps of old wallpaper and puts things together. I work a little bit in the same way, like Twenties, Forties, Sixties, Palm Beach, happy, cocktails at 5 o’clock!”

Dries Van Noten Apring 2018. Indigital

Dries said that his motive was to present a clean collection, “not for it to look like a bunch of old clothes – it really has to be contemporary, for now.”

Dries Van Noten Spring 2018. Indigital

On stage this read as an ultra-refined version of what the Belgian designer usually is known for, with hardly a hint of the ethnic influences at the start of his career. Accompanied by an a capella version of the Ronettes “Be My Baby”, the models came out, gracefully but simply dressed, until checks morphed into flowers or tiny crystals winked from a mannish checked suit.

Dries Van Noten Spring 2018. Indigital

The effect was elegant, grown up, and the decorative unattached pieces looked noble, never fussy. Perhaps it was the designer’s love of gardening that made the patterns seem drenched in natural light. Van Gogh sunflowers appeared to sprout across a tailored jacket or even a long, lean coat.

Dries Van Noten Spring 2018. Indigital

At a time when digital prints are everywhere, Dries came through as an artist with color and pattern, which has been such a defining part of his career. But more than that, he has created a universe to which he belongs and the wide world of fashion wants to join.


Aalto spring 2018. Indigital

Aalto, the label founded by Finland’s Tuomas Merikoski, brought freshness and colour to Paris.

A runner-up for the 2016 LVMH Prize, he has two fashion strengths: the ability to cut and drape, so that a basic blouse becomes a whirl of folds, and then there is his use of color – vivid pink, yellow, and orange, perhaps all together in a whimsical way.

Aalto Spring 2018. Indigital

In a season where the house of Martin Margiela already came up with a travel theme, Merikoski was right on-trend with recycled travel bags – in yellow, of course. But the bags had a purpose. They were designed for online shopping by the environmentally-friendly packaging company RePack, and can be re-used for returns and repeat orders – a thoughtful gesture from Aalto.

Aalto Spring 2018. Indigital

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