2010 September 30

Runway Reviews: Dries Van Noten, Rochas, Limi Feu

Dries Van Noten Spring 2011 Dries Van Noten Spring 2011
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It was a tale of contrasts for van Noten in Paris. The spring show took place at a deserted gray fashion college warehouse overlooking the Seine, while the clothes were Dries at his joyful best: sumptuous flower prints, kimono-inspired trenches, lurex coats, and masterful high-waisted skirts. The palette proved be especially encompassing, relying on lemongrass, rich lilac, and pastel kiwi tones to initiate strong statements. In what was a physically very long runway, editors and buyers had a lot more than mere seconds to absorb van Noten’s quiet gems—as well as his ridiculously well done Belgian disco inferno pieces.

Held in an urban gymnasium, the Rochas show was a sort of strange and alien Scandinavian energy boost with its fast explosions of girls, invigorating prints, and ballsy ball gown skirts. It was show of contradictions of country and traffic, timid and insane, plain white and deliberately smashed.  Marco Zanini played with everything from hoops to sheers to tailored navy to nail down this experimental but ultimately fearless effort. Though most of the tailoring was basically misshaped, bulky, and impractical for most fit sizes, there was something nostalgic and deliberate in the new Rochas girl.

It's probably not being easy being Yohji Yamamoto’s daughter and helming your own brand at the same time. But for many seasons now, Limi Feu has carved out her very own niche in Paris with her own show, dad in the second row, and an array of calming, nurturing clothing. To the serene piano and violin notes, Feu's models were once again black and white heroines who sported airy capes, beautifully cut asymmetrical jackets, and well cut men's jackets. In fact, the menswear showcased by the Japanese was particularly strong, with clean-cut white dress shirts and abstract noir hoodies. There was even a pregnant model on the runway, channeling perhaps Feu's own burden of expectations.