Darkness into light.

A story that evolves in three parts; the purity of black, the suggestion of colour in faded pastels and a new rendering of flower print.

Dries Van Noten womenswear spring/summer 23 explores the contrast between these
elements, the first physical women’s show since 2020. Like the black invitation giving way to glorious technicolour print, the collection progresses from dark shades into a celebration of optimism.

The radicality of Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square informs the segment devoted to that most total of non-colours in a series of structured pieces. Jackets with oversized shoulders, dresses with sculptural waists.

Pastels are muted, a memory of colour. This stripping back allows details to pull focus; crushed pleats, fringing on cargo pants, a waterfall of layers across the body of a dress.

Flowers are a long standing expression of Dries Van Noten. This season the house revisits earlier floral designs, manipulating their scale. Some are oversized, others shrunken to micro-prints, lending the effect of one mass of pattern. Prints and textures collide.

Protection and vulnerability. Couture techniques explore the delicate nature of flou, but through powerful silhouettes. Transparency and lightness contrasting with precision; a masculine jacket with a mousseline skirt.

A theme of surface texture and decoration is developed in the handcrafted elements; smocking, crochet, ruching, ruffles and macrame. Matte sequins form one solid block of colour. Others are iridescent, echoing the cobalt of the glass jewellery.

Accessories are fragile yet robust; necklaces comprising hand-blown glass bubbles and droplets. Shoes with cut-away panels reveal and conceal, heels playfully curved. Others come with an abundance of frills. Brass buttons on coats become disc-like jewels.

The physicality of clothes, the sensory pleasure in their movement. Ruffles in a breeze. Dries Van Noten’s return to a womenswear catwalk show pays homage to those intimate moments.