In his intriguing collection for spring/summer 2023, designer Dries Van Noten’s take on ‘masculine-feminine’ is curiously ambiguous yet spot-on trend setting. Van Noten shows overly well-suited Dandies adorned with pink tube corsets, camisoles, and free-flowing chromatic wisps. His presence emphasized with pinstripes and the masterful mélange of colors, textures, and verve, Van Noten’s forte, remains tight-lipped. Yet that is just the beginning. Perfection, in a blue double-breasted suit, yields to short shorts and full shorts worn (nearly skirt-like?) with cowboy boots. Here the color and pattern symphony begins, and it is genius. Contrasting the suiting, nothing in the rest of the collection is restrictive in its tailoring. Sans skateboards the models project an air of an ‘already accomplished
subculture’ that is envious. Van Noten adds a white shirt and skinny tie to motocross pants and then takes the theme from innovation to uniform with alacrity. The cohesiveness of at-ease confidence and defiance is a celebration despite the polarity of gender implicit in this collection with Van Noten’s verve.