Fetchingly presented against a dawn to dusk backdrop, this Dries Van Noten Men’s Fall 2021 collection in Paris was both familiar and new.
On a preview call the designer said that his riotously colored last-season outing, plus the establishment of an effective home working strategy for his pattern-cutters, created the context for this reassessment of archetypal garments through new structures and fabrication techniques.
“It was really nice to be able to work on construction, on shapes, on volumes, rather than really bold colors and wild prints. It was about going to the menswear wardrobe staples, and trying not to leave them because I wanted them to be recognizable, but to look at their function, and the way you feel about some things that you think you know but which maybe you don’t.”Dries Van Noten
To change the feeling demanded changing the garments.
Shirts were elongated into dresses, jacket skirts and hoody hems lengthened, pant waists raised, shorts widened. Van Noten said these alterations and others in the exterior of his garments were made hand-in-hand with upgrades under the bonnet, “so it’s a pity that we don’t have the possibility of being able to touch them.”
As an example he said a lot of the jackets were made in the lightest possible wool, which was lightly padded to give the appearance of structure alongside the feel of looseness and release.
Similarly, T-shirts were fashioned in two layers between which delicate bolstering was inserted to create a crisp appearance while feeling slouchy. Ultra-light duchesse cotton was imported from womenswear as a suiting material: “When you touch it it is quite chewy—quite like leather.”
There was pattern here, but of a type in sync with the thesis of the whole. Motifs used traditionally for ties were adapted, distorted, and upgraded for a new life across the collection.
Especially attractive was a riotous botanical on a slim-fitting souvenir-style jacket above some double-dyed denim jeans and a pair of the slouchy, puffy, elastic-backed moccasins that were elsewhere topped with gaiter-like leg warmers.
One point of connection across the collection were the gleaming metal rings used to secure belts, knits, and bags. This was a collection built to look sharp but feel soft—a fruitful reexamination of the essence of “essentials.”
The collection will be launched on our website and instagram
Thursday 21 January 2021 at 7pm CET
Directed by Leonardo Van Dijl and Nicolas Karakatsanis
Model: Aramish Mangi
Make up: Florence Teerlinck
Hair: Marlien Echelpoels
Music by Lander Gyselinck ‘Hihats In Trees’