Grace and Poise: Dries Van Noten Paris Menswear Collection Spring/Summer 2015

An original member of the Antwerp Six—a collective name for a group of graduates who were united by their avant-garde aesthetics which included Ann Demeulemeester and Walter van Beirendonck), Belgian designer Dries Van Noten has consistently been producing engaging collections with a strongly individual sense. Renowned for his masterful use of prints, deconstruction of ethnic patterns, the creation of bespoke fabrics and a dynamic sense of tailoring, Dries Van Noten continues to move his fashion universe inexorably forward.

In his Paris Menswear Collection for Spring/Summer 2015 he draws inspiration from one of the 20th century's most revered ballet dancers, Rudolf Nureyev, and the graceful world of ballet in general. His research process involved extensive study of ballet’s costuming and the body: still, seated and in motion. The result was a collection that depicted an elegant and refined vision of the modern fashionable male.

Feelings of fluidity and movement informed the collection’s sartorial aesthetics throughout. The male chest was bared, delicate inner shirts had their necks cut in deep scoops or were etched into fluid, draped silhouettes. Long flowing jackets looked silken and decadent with an atmosphere akin to sophisticated dressing gowns. Soft blazers were worn in a lounging, oversized fashion. Pants had knitted elasticized waistbands that spoke again to the ballet inspiration. Footwear inspired by dance had equally a relaxed, romantic feeling. A notable piece and one that appeared on the majority of looks was a harness-like vest, tethered around one shoulder, worn both over and under jackets—a delicate piece that looked not so much fetishistic as sensual. While the patterns may not have been as rich or as dominant in this collection as previous seasons, Dries Van Noten’s refined use of subtle prints and colors remained as perfectly balanced as always.
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