Dries Van Noten picked up the pace on the second day of Paris Fashion Week with highly stylised decadent looks.
Individualism has been the recurring theme of the A/W 16/17 shows and Dries Van Noten went to the top, taking inspiration from one of the most eccentric individuals of the early 20th century: the Marchesa Casati.
A decadent Italian aristocrat, Casati – who once declared she wanted to be a living work of art – was as famous for her pet cheetahs and snakes as her louche lifestyle, dressed by designers like Paul Poiret and Fortuny, with jewels by Lalique and Cartier.
The inspiration may have been decadence, but there was a refined sense of dandified elegance in Van Noten’s silhouettes, with reed-thin tailored blazers, wide masculine pants, cricket sweaters and slim fur-collared robe coats, all inspired by Casati’s lover Gabriele D’Annunzio.
Casati’s penchant for pearls was addressed every which way, from silky pearl-patterned jacquards to pearl-strewn knits and mesh vest tops. Meanwhile, cheetah patterns came as faux skin capes, wide slouched pants and dramatic trims, or as stylised all-over monochrome prints.
Slip dresses and simple Poiret-inspired sheaths were worked in gilded metallic tissues and slinky satin, contrasted with the collection’s more masculine blazer stripes and embroidered monogram logos, punctuating the palette of stark black and white, ivory, poison green and belladonna.
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