Shhhh. I want you to take a deep breath. Pour yourself a cup of green tea. Turn off the television and/or radio. Imagine, if you can, that for a moment we are deep in a forest blanketed with a soft, lush carpet of green moss with mottled light streaming through the trees. The only sounds are those of birds singing ever so softly. There’s no busy city noise, no rumble of traffic, no children screaming. Just a quiet, peaceful, and relaxing moment with nature. Are you there with me? Great, welcome to the Dries Van Noten spring/summer 2015 presentation.

Such was the scene that greeted guests this afternoon as they arrived. There was no soundtrack other than the birds. There were no loud pronouncements. Dries Van Noten is getting back to nature for next spring and he’s taking us with him. The first look down the runway is typical of the rest. A loose fitting light brown tunic top under a gold tapestry dress coat paired with pants in bright metallic stripes of copper, blue, yellow, and red. On the model’s feet are white crisscross sandals. The look is casual, comfortable, and soft.

So we go on this marvelously zen walk through the forest. One might think the collection is bohemian in nature, and to a large degree one would be correct. Stop short of lumping this in with all the 70s looks we saw in Milan, though. While the silhouettes are definitely loose and flowing, and there are copious paisley prints in the mix, Dries manages to keep a touch of minimalism to the looks, and even adds tiered layers of chiffon floating softly down a full-length dress with spaghetti straps, all done in those same broad, brightly colored stripes. There are hard contrasting patterns mixed with bold stripes, a  top with blue and green metallic fringe, and minimalist gathering to a blue pinstripe skirt. Sitting here trying to describe them for you, I realize it may sound very much like a hot mess. Yet, van Noten finds a way to make it all come together with such softness that it all works.

Along the path, one would do well to notice details such as contrasting halters over jackets and geometric blocking between print and sheer panels. Watch out for surprising touches of embroidery and pay attention to the frequent use of denim, which really has been a super popular fabric this season. While the aesthetic is retro, the looks on their own are actually surprising contemporary around the bohemian styling.

The models walk ever so quietly along the carpeted runway. Then, as they make their final approach, they sit down, relax, chill, give everyone time to take a picture before getting to their feet and disappearing into the waiting haze of backstage. We may not be able to stay in this beautiful place forever, but we can enjoy the moment while it’s here. Dries van Noten creates an amazing collection for next spring that will have everyone heading for the outdoors just to take a moment to relax.

Photo credit: Guillame Roujas

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