Amidst a sombre world outlook, a harrowing time for many, Dries Van Noten’s 100th show was the breath of life needed to revive our spirits and kick us into optimism mode again. While trends of power women, fur and stripes on stripes were scattered throughout fashion month, none delivered such a positive note. Collections referred to darker times and the strength required to break through them. Dries, on the other hand, spoke to the glass-half-full woman, overcoming with colour and spirit. I scrolled through the collection, instantly realising this is what had been missing from every other show – this remarkably simple sense of joy. Bold oranges and purples, complementary tones, finished with a dash of fur and a structured coat. Prints that make any day less tiresome, lifting the mood of all passerby’s.
Joy can exist even in the most difficult and painful periods. I’ve witnessed it with my own eyes in Tanzania. Life may be uncertain, scary and often dangerous for many, but in every encounter, even when tears showed themselves, an aura of joyfulness washed off each of these beautiful humans. The women were ( still are ) strong and hopeful, the men grateful and friendly. But a smile sits on each face, absolutely glowing, accompanied by a sparkle in the eyes. This sensibility is one the Western world needs more of. We get distracted; we feel sorrowful instead of content. I know it’s far easier said than done, but it’s something to strive for.
“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” – Anne Frank
It’s daring to dress for joy these days. Dressing for the distressing is far easier. Sometimes the greater political and emotional stand may be to reach beyond wearing the expected feelings on your literal sleeve and convey a different message altogether. One that shows you haven’t given up, won’t stop, can’t stop. You’ve overcome / will overcome. And Dries has got us covered – stand out garments for speaking out.
(Runway images via Business of Fashion)