While at first glance the Dries Van Noten spring show looks like an ode to Kurt Cobain—albeit with an elevated, elegant spin—upon further examination, it becomes clear that ‘90s grunge wasn’t the designer’s only inspiration. The bigger theme at play here was the unexpected. Pieces that are normally considered masculine and utilitarian, like the plaid work shirt, were reimagined with fabrics like taffeta and organza for a more feminine effect. Nightwear became daywear with kimono-like embroidered robes and peignoir-inspired dresses.
As for Van Noten’s use of prints, faded poppy motifs found on everything from sheer dresses to satin tops were a nod to Lucien Freud’s surrealist paintings, while Prince of Wale checks covering ladylike frocks, trousers, and slingbacks contrasted nicely with the clashing sheer tartan plaids. It's precisely the kind of luxe, beautiful, utterly cool clothing we want to wear all season long. In other words: this collection is a surefire hit.
1. Model wearing peignoir dress in the Betsey Johnson S/S 96 show (courtesy of Getty Images)
2. Japanese Woodblock Print (courtesy of Getty Images)
3. Racing flag (courtesy of Getty Images)
4. Liv Tyler in '90s flick Empire Records (courtesy of Everett Collection)
5. Field of poppies (courtesy of Everett Collection)
6. Kurt Cobain (courtesy of Corbis)