Dries Van Noten’s latest men’s show was a one-of-a-kind and thought-provoking event that seamlessly blended the past and the present to create a memorable experience. The designer chose to host the show in a parking garage, where guests were welcomed with a shopping cart full of chilled Stella Artois and the experimental sounds of an electronic musician.
As guests made their way up the ramps and stairs, they finally reached the standing-only show-space, featuring a drum kit on one stage and stacks of synthesizers on the other. The show was opened by Belgian musicians Lander & Adriaan, known for their “sophisti-rave” style.
The Fall/Winter 2023 collection was inspired by the energy and self-expression of rave parties in the 90s, blended with the surreal beauty of nature. This concept was sparked by a book Van Noten read last summer about Alexander von Humboldt, the German geographer, naturalist, and explorer credited with inventing the concept of ecology.
The Belgian designer expertly blended both themes with restraint, conveying the rave vibe mainly through washed-out linen pants, swirly jackets, and layered lacy-knits and drapey sweatshirts. The nature theme was represented through botanical prints and motifs such as green shoots on cots and pants, and an eagle in flight on a crewneck sweater.
At times, the two narratives converged in beautiful ways, such as a safari shirt embroidered with gold and silver garlands, or a silky jacket with a dizzying print of diving birds and exotic blooms. The show was a feast for the senses and the collection was masterfully executed, creating an immersive experience for guests. The designer’s use of nature elements in the collection and choice of venue added an interesting and unique touch to the event.