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Dries Van Noten’s first FW19 look on the Paris runway, a pair of black pants, white shirt, and black tie, finessed the basic essence of menswear: to dress the body well. After all, simplicity and clothes with a more singular point of view are what the Belgian designer is more or less revered for among fashion critics. He’s probably your favorite rapper’s low-key preferred choice, too.
The FW19 collection, shown in an expansive black room, presented exceptionally made menswear with subtle details in shape and texture here and there through items such as rubber dungarees and quilted shirts. The pants either billowed nice and loose, or cut at the shin for a wide but straighter leg and were worn with classic shoes dipped in rubber. There was also the occasional blanket wrapped around the waist as a skirt. These were elegant silhouettes, to say the least, with the volume bolstered by some lightweight quilted padding, particularly a puffer jacket that wrapped around the chest.
The show had a visual narrative. As things moved along, tie-dye ripples started to drop into the color scheme, first appearing among gray and caramel hues before consuming the collection entirely, covering raincoats, pants, and entire looks. The effect was borderline psychedelic, like watching light reflect off oil dispersed atop of water. With David Bowie’s "Wild Is the Wind" booming around the gargantuan building, the show was nothing short of sublime.
The collection marks the second menswear show since a majority stake of the Dries Van Noten brand was sold to Puig last year. Having been in the business for more than 30 years, the formerly independent designer is still challenging our sense of timelessness, creating classic menswear items in fluid and experimental colors and patterns. In a Paris Fashion Week schedule bubbling with collaborations and the cult of celebrity, it was a breath of fresh air.
Elsewhere in Paris, Acne Studios championed the outsider with an eclectic FW19 collection.