What do you think of when you think of a Dries show? Contrasting colour-ways, innovative prints and patterns, delicate embroidery? They were all present for A/W 18. Not to say that this show was predictable. No, this was a smorgasbord of ideas, textures and patterns - some of which are completely new for Dries.
It’s a unique attribute, being able to combine so many tropes and elements and still make a collection feel simple and seamless. Here, Nashville met broderie anglaise, Elvis met crochet style knits, Boxy suit met Duke of Windsor check. Clashing ideas, textures and silhouettes are succinct while providing seemingly endless possibilities for the curated wardrobe. An acknowledgement of all the specialities Dries does like no other. It felt as if Dries was letting out a sigh - natural and confident.
Apt then, that this season Dries had eschewed any interviews with the press pack, and instead sent round a concise video Q+A the team had prepared in advance. Confident that his clothes will speak for themselves. Indeed, he had said this collection felt freer after a big year of anniversaries and launches last year and this came through especially in the new marble printing techniques.
Chosen partly because of its deep-rooted tradition, the marble print (created in London and edited into to more earthen and jewel tones back at Dries HQ) appeared on duster coat, silky shirt, mac and blazer. It gave a hedonistic oomph to the collection, as too did the Get Well Soon remixed soundtrack of Underworld’s Born Slippy (made famous by Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting.)
Another star of the show and new technique for Dries was the laser cut broderie anglaise on white denim. Appearing on white kick-flare and coat, Dries subverted a typically feminine technique into something layerable and wearable for even the most stereotypically macho of men.
Apron kilts, snakeskin loafers, crochet collars-cum-scarves. This was the act of dressing and dressing up. Pick a look, pick an item, there’s an outfit for everyone. It was a collection of Dries’ favourites, presented to you in the hope that you will discover, covet and keep a favourite of his too.