Dries showcased a double-breasted, super hero town-coat of which Cristobal Balenciaga would have been proud

Dries Van Noten F/W 2017

A designer´s designer at his best

Let’s give credit where credit is due. First of all, to Dries Van Noten for a marvelous show that managed to blend opulence with edge; hipster street gutsiness with gentlemanly couture. And credit to the designer for crediting his famed fabric resources; notably a series of British mills, whose names featured prominently throughout this brilliant collection.

From Jameson & Smith stamped onto a soft red sweatshirts, to Fox Brothers & Co on a padded nylon tunic or wrapped around the sleeve of a satin baseball jacket. Talk about a great piss take of logomania, by a designer whose most famous signature is a white reverse collar to his coats.

Dries Van Noten
In a season of volume, Van Noten made this trend his own as seen in a flowing Bladerunner coat in black nylon

Moreover, in a season of volume, Van Noten made this mammoth trend his own. Whether cutting splendidly theatrical windowpane check suits, or dreaming up quadruple pleat trousers; or letting rip with a flowing Bladerunner coats in orange and matt black nylon. All the way to a double-breasted, super hero town-coat of which Balenciaga – the original Cristobal, that is – would have been proud.

In effect, for his 99th runway show – yes, Dries has done that many – the Belgium cast his mind back over his whole oeuvre, tapping into his own archives. Even revamping a lapel-free black jacket dating from 1986, which itself echoed Pierre Cardin’s work for The Beatles. Add in a few reimagined mohair Lama folk sweaters and cool Chelsea boots and one had a whopping fashion statement.

Dries Van Noten
Dries even revamped a lapel-free black jacket dating from 1986

In some simple but perfect staging, producer Etienne Russo bathed a twisting catwalk underneath a 19th century railway track in bold red lighting, as a great remix of Iggy Pop’s classic Lust of Life powered on a lean, tousle-haired cast.

If one had to bring a style novice to their first men’s fashion show in the current Continental season – and with greatest respect to our UK cousins all the key action this season has been this side of the Channel – then Dries was the show to have attended. That good!