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Dries Van Noten Mens Fall 2023 Paris cover

Dries Van Noten Men’s Fall 2023 Paris

Dries Van Noten returned to another parking garage for his fall men’s show, and on each level guests encountered a shopping cart full of chilled Stella Artois and an experimental electronic musician producing fizzing, burbling or buzzing noises.

Once up all the ramps, and then a couple of flights of stairs, guests finally alighted on the show-space proper: a standing-only affair with a drum kit on one stage and stacks of synthesizers on the other.

Belgian musicians Lander & Adriaan, specialists in what the show notes called “sophisti-rave,” took their positions and proceeded to coax an impressive amount of sophisti-rave from those few instruments, adding a pulse-pounding electricity to the show.

“The energy and self-expression of rave parties in the ‘90s, but mixed with beautiful surreal elements of nature” was how Van Noten summed up the collection backstage.

His starting point was a book he read last summer about Alexander von Humboldt, a German geographer, naturalist and explorer born in 1769 and the man credited with having invented the concept of ecology.

Van Noten etched both themes with restraint: The rave vibe was conveyed mainly by roomy pants festooned with pockets and straps; the nature theme via botanical prints and motifs — here green shoots forking off across cots and pants, there an eagle caught in flight on a creamy crewneck sweater.

Occasionally the two narratives converged beautifully, as in a safari shirt embroidered with gold and silver garlands, or a silky souvenir jacket with a dizzying print of diving birds and exotic blooms.

But mostly this show exalted Van Noten’s impressive range as a designer. With its strong shoulders and raised waists, the tailoring had a subtle retro allure and a masculine swagger. Silhouettes were either big on top and narrow on top or vice versa.

As a colorist and print purveyor, Van Noten has few peers, here blending dusty colors and complex patterns and textures in ways most pleasing to the eye.

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View the full collection and video on driesvannoten.com

If anything gave a jolt, it was the number 23 writ huge on a mesh football jersey and on roomy track pants. Was the designer winking to a milestone in his long fashion career, or winking to his favorite sports hero, perhaps?

Der — it was simply a reference to the 2023 season and some looks had 24 on the back, Van Noten clarified.

“We keep it simple,” he said with a yelp of laughter.

Music: Live performance by Lander & Adriaan Styling: Nancy Rohde Make-up: Inge Grognard Hair: Gary Gill Casrting: Piergiorgio DM casting Production: Villa Eugenie.

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