You can view the complete collection here.
In 1861, William Morris was founding a decorative arts firm with Burne-Jones, Rossetti, Webb, and others: the Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co, only for then assuming total control of the company in 1875, which was then renamed Morris & Co. The work of the hugely prolific poet, businessman, painter, environmentalist, decorative artist and socialist seem to faintly echo in Dries Van Noten’s latest collection, in what could also look like a small homage to William Morris on the year of the 140th anniversary since the foundation of the Morris & Co.
But the collection’s references to the work of Morris are in no ostensible way visual: The medievalism of the Arts and Crafts movement is replaced here with an almost Imperial splendour, steadily reverberating the shimmer of the ancient kingdoms of the Far East. Some associations with Morris’s political stance and principles might be found in the Mao jackets that made some brief appearances during the show. But Van Noten’s references appear enveloped deeper within the artist’s utopic ethic of “Beauty for the masses”, a pared-down magnificence liberated from the somewhat stiffness of the Salon and ready to be worn out on the street; Humble cotton chinos are here enclosed within intensely decorated overskirts in silk, a look that fascinatingly qualifies as both populist and at the same time, intrinsically exclusive.
With this collection the designer follows up on the hyper-decorative slant that he first introduced at the Mens shows back in January, only for then elevating his visual coloratura to a much wider discourse on power, luxury and the REAL women who wear his clothes: His women’s nonchalant flair and taste for orientalism underlines links to his early collections, charging this collection with the same sense of emancipation of his first shows.
This collection will not disappoint Van Noten’s clique of devoted customers, as it features all of the elements that made his indulgent bohemian style legendary in the first place.
You can watch a video of the show here.
By Matteo Sarti