Dries Van Noten Spring 2024 Menswear Collection


This Dries show was held in the salubrious 17th, on a high floor of a condemned building until recently long occupied by the telecom Orange. The room was long and vaulted, and layers of plaster, concrete, and paint were roughly intermingled on every battered and chipped surface: industrial patina, the pattern of use, the signs of habitation. The jackets in looks 23 and 52, both paired with sequin shorts, were worn equivalents, dyed and treated to seem as if they had already served for years, and seen plenty of sun—darker inside their long peak collars than out.

“We wanted to make it a study of elegance. To make it very masculine. So we asked what is masculinity now? And how we can make elegance also young, and interesting to the young?… I think streetwear is one thing, and it’s fantastic, but I also think people want more ways to dress to express who they are, and to enjoy.”

The herringbone wool in a gorgeous belted raglan shoulder coat contained zig-zags of camel and black, the two shades that set the tone for the opening phase of this collection. Its development featured that of the Soulwax soundtrack. A stately orchestral start segued slowly then less so towards sweet repetitive beats. Gabardine pants fronted with trench coat skirts were foils against deep-v knits with matching wrapped skirts: modern twinsets. Slubby shantung silks, net linen knits, coated linen outerwear, knit velvets, and muted optically enveloping prints provided textures both visual and tactile.

Van Noten’s instinct for color is unmatched and never conventional. To mix a bronze shirt and coat with gold sequin shorts, or play aubergine shorts against a mustard bomber was simultaneously unlikely and self-evidently effective. The wavy stitching on those dyed aubergine shorts and a liner jacket echoed the overlapping “onion” print on other pieces. Some tops in mousseline were sheer, some sandals were strapped with fur, some hems on shorts and combat pants were frayed and raw, and the knit velvet sweater featured a grid of plucked perforations across the chest: layers of patina, wear, and form. This was a collection crying out to be moved into.

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