Styling masterclass: Dries Van Noten SS13
I was so bowled over by the styling in the Dries Van Noten show, I thought I’d break it down in a blog post. Taken separately, each piece of the Dries collection is a beautiful, timeless workhorse. Weightless tea dresses, wrap jackets, sheer plaid shirts and patterned pants. Nothing new there. Put them together just so, with complementary hair, make-up and hands-in-pocket attitude and you have a bucketload of reasons why everyone (including me) will be referencing DVN this season, consciously or not.
Styling is everything in a show and to give these pieces a point of view, mixing up the components was key. So chiffony shirts and heels to add femininity to otherwise mannish tailoring, messy hair and Kurt Cobain-style glasses to knock some polish off the elaborate, 3D fabrics, and plenty of mish-mashy layering to make us take a longer, closer look. Some of my favourites below…
Plaid shirt buttoned up to the neck + loose, sheer, leg-flashing skirt = the right boy-girl mix.
Sheer, unbuttoned skirt + long ‘anti-fit’ skirt in delectable soft colours. Note the relative simplicity of the shirt and shoes with the ‘how did you do that’ flower-strewn applique skirt.
The key to this outfit is the variety of weights and proportions. The heavyish knit, over the sheer shirt which create uneven layers over the see through trousers (or is it a long skirt?) which itself is worn over a short skirt (or is it a pair of shorts?). The bare clavicle, strong lip and feminine clutch all counterbalance the grungy masculinity of the top half. Who knew there was so much science in styling?
How to wear a dress over trousers: pair super-skinny, silky pants (with zip ankles for added toughness) with a boxy, sleeveless jacket-dress. I like how the patterns are totally clashy but the tones are harmonious. I also like that the dress is loose but tailored so you could have a few lunches and it will still flatter. This could work with a heeled boot too but the bit of skin on show here counteracts the masculine proportions. Some chunky bangles or rings could also go well with this look.
We all know what a great colourist Dries is and I really think the tonal mixes are what makes these ensembles work and translate to real life. The look below is highly achievable with a boyish inky blazer and semi-fitted separates in a palette of blues and aubergines. The heels could be switched for brogue-like lace-ups (without socks) and this would still feel luxe and feminine.
When it comes to pyjama and dressing gown styling, you have to be careful, right? So the slightly tailored fit of the jacket here is crucial, as is the sheerness of the pyjamas-like pants and the omnipresent high-heeled court shoe. I like the classic shoe shape as opposed to something like a superwedge (which could also work but might be a bit much). Again, the colour combinations here are just beautiful and instinctive. I love the matte lip (Chanel’s L’Exuberante).
One more. This is such an elegant way to do grungy layering. Break this down and each piece is a beauty on its own, to go with plainer partners for work and beyond. Mix it all up though and you take this to a much more creative place with the different textures, weights and lengths working together. This calf length is usually considered frumpy but add the heels, wacky sunnies and rolled-up boyish sleeves and you have a look that’s super-confident and sexy in a non-obvious way. One for the Tommy Ton brigade I predict…
Isn’t it funny that Make-up artists and hairdressers explain their tricks backstage at the shows but the stylist is still mostly invisible and unheard? Just an observation…
That's Not My Age
4 January, 2013 @ 10:42 am
That’s so true about stylists, they tend to stay in the background & keep schtum. This DVN collection is fantastic, really strong. The floral /plaid combo is the best of all – think I need some Dries in my life!
4 January, 2013 @ 5:23 pm
Great styling, even for Dries which is usually a well-styled show anyway!
But I find a lot of it is just styling, not substance. I don’t often like much of what ends up in stores (a few exceptions apart), and when I went to his stock sale in Antwerp last year there was a LOT of utter crap. Like really naff knitwear, prints that looked dated within a season, etc. All those little pieces used to style a look to seem great on the runway, but you’d have to be Susie to know what to wear with it yourself…
I think there’s the danger with these kinds of collections – there’s no instantly recognizable dress or piece – just a consistent overall look. So if you want, why not just create this styling with clothes you already have, rather than buying something new?
4 January, 2013 @ 8:55 pm
ooh Duck, controversial as ever. I like that a lot of the pieces aren’t ‘instantly recognisable’ because I think they don’t date. Even if they aren’t ‘statement pieces’, they have a definite Dries look about them. What I think is clever (or maybe I’m just a sucker) is that the styling makes these pieces desirable so even if yes, you could just wear your own grey slouchy V neck jumper, you (I) still want *that* one. Maybe it only works on the die hard Dries fan??!
5 January, 2013 @ 10:54 pm
Hmmm, I’m not convinced… Obviously everything collection has the odd bit I like but I don’t think it’s the kind of brand I could ever become a die hard fan of.
the style crusader
6 January, 2013 @ 2:42 pm
I love this post but love the conversation going on between you and Duck even more.
Personally I love the collection and think there are a lot of great pieces. The styling is genius as well. xx
6 January, 2013 @ 5:56 pm
@The Style Crusader – ha you know how much Duck loves a heated debate! X
10 January, 2013 @ 7:57 am
So. Good. I want to be this girl. Perfect lip colour too. The styling definitely makes this show – poorly/differently styled I think this could come across as an uninteresting collection. I wonder who was behind the styling.
10 January, 2013 @ 10:05 am
Chuck, I have a feeling that Dries does it himself…?