Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten showed his Spring/Summer 2012 collection on the first day of Paris Fashion Week yesterday.
The designer’s signature use of prints manifested itself through natural landscapes, florals and exotic palm-leaf prints with a retro feel. Elsewhere, print abstractions were taken from photographs by James Reeves, one of the finalists in the 2010 Hyeres fashion festival's photography competition, of which Van Noten was president of the jury, offering a glittering skyline of lights. Las Vegas signage and several variations on night-lit cityscapes created a post-modern take on the urban jungle.
In terms of silhouette, boxy oversized jackets were paired with wide-cut trousers skimming the ankle. Channelling a mid-century couture line, with swing backs and ruffled details, Van Noten also emphasised the hips with an expressive curved line reminiscent of New Look shapes. Particularly strong was his interpretation of the peplum – in Dries Van Noten's world the detail was dropped at the waist and effortlessly integrated into relaxed straight-leg trousers.
Pencil skirts and dresses were hemmed either just above or just below the knee, while the monochrome palette was highlighted with ginger, turquoise and teal. Retro pastel sunglasses and wraparound ribbon-tie black shoes finished the collection with a touch of Riviera glamour.
Paris Fashion Week runs until October 5.