For me, there has always been something uniquely calming about a beautiful, expertly constructed piece of clothing. Most of the garments I put on my own body are admittedly boring, but my childlike enthusiasm for pretty things has never quite waned; when you look at the very best clothes, for a moment, everything else falls away. It wasn’t until I started flipping through Dries Van Noten’s Spring 2018 collection that I realized how much I needed it.
“We always say fashion can be a reflection of what’s happening in the world,” Van Noten said during a preview of the collection. “But fashion can be also be escapism. For me, it was really important to have that.”
The collection has the requisite mishmash of prints and perfect two-piece looks and brocade elements, but, as always, it’s a little bit new this time. Using sheer overlays, scarves and light, jangly diamond-esque embellishments and broaches, the mood is lighter, diaphanous. A delicate, nearly invisible metallic belt lightly hugs a blush silk patterned dress; a heavily-layered look, using sheer silk and shimmering brights, somehow presents as buoyant.
“We always say that fashion is a reflection of our times,” Van Noten told Vogue. “Well, maybe that’s enough of that! Let’s do something optimistic, enjoy things—and really go for it!”
Normally I’d raise an eyebrow at a quote like that, because I generally believe fashion designers should make an effort to be much more political; too many of them have contented themselves with meaningless gestures. But here, in the context of this collection, it feels appropriate: a reminder, in the midst of a parade of suffering and malicious incompetence, that we can generate beauty and wonder with equal skill.
Watch the full show below: