There is something innately reminiscent of Anaïs Nin´s 1930s Paris in Dries Van Noten´s Autumn-Winter 2005 Collection. Combinations of silk and wool, colour play with hot-pink and yellow, black, pastel and primary colours and an overall Bohemian feel speak at times to something that could be borderline homage to Marlene Dietrich in her shirt and trouser days. In other movements, van Noten´s subtle experiments scream Yoko Ono.
The collection is, in any case, very romantic. Who wouldn’t love the feel of fur-cuffed satin trousers over soft tights and satin-laced shoes? Van Noten has made a clear call to the inner and outer sensuality, to every woman who has ever dreamed of wartime, whimsical love affairs complete with silk flower broaches and pillbox hats. Trousers and fur collared jackets are certainly no promise to such adventures, but perhaps they can be a sweet attempt at resurrecting the feel of 1930s tailored beauty, which I recalled from films like “Henry and June” as I looked over van Noten´s Autumn-Winter line. Who knows what Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin really wore back then, but it seems that their sexiness came with a certain impression that Dries van Noten has imbued in his gorgeous winter coats, folk prints and bright satin sashes. They are down to earth yet daring pieces, which could go just as well with hot chocolate as with an erotic winter surprise. They are clothes that made me want to see what was underneath them.
A personal favorite was the inviting look of wide, billowy blue trousers paired with a tan pea-coat, followed by a grey knee-length skirt worn with black-tights, a black cape and true blue ballet-inspired high heels. Van Noten has given women a chance this season to embrace romanticism: away with “Come and get me” and in with mystery, flowers and an invitation to touch all over his soft yet defined collection.
Van Noten´s collection is no cowboy knock-off, no pirate brigade. It could even tend toward the depressive, if not for his daring use of colour and texture. The Dries van Noten Autumn-Winter collection is a dream for dreamy women, for those of us who are nostalgic for decades we never knew yet can somehow relate to. Worthwhile pieces would definitely be the coats and the trousers, perfect for shimmying through the days of winter when we just want to get dressed to get undressed, to feel feminine, touchable and think that maybe we´re somewhere close to expressing from the inside out. It´s about as good as the Bourgeois-Bohème gets.