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Paris Fashion Week: At a Dries Van Noten show, even the thunder claps

June 26, 2009 |  8:34 am

On Thursday, Belgian designer Dries Van Noten staged an impressive runway show on the steps of  Palais Brongniart in the 2nd arrondissement. As the models queued up to hit the runway, an open-sided truck carrying a DJ, turntable and massive stacks of speakers, pulled into Place de la Bourse and began blaring a dance club beat. (I'm told it was the Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow.")

That would have been just theatrical enough for the designer who usually lets the setting and the collection speak for themselves each season, but at the last minute I was lucky enough to find myselfRage_dries1 lodged in a spot directly in front of where the models were being staged (not so luckily I was lodged between two meathead security guys).

So I did my best at capturing some cool behind the scenes footage -- pardon the jerky bits and the cameo appearances by the above-mentioned têtes de viande -- of the collection, which was chock-full of prints (many that fit the tribal vibe we've been seeing since Milan), plaids, micro-checks and pinstripes. Pants were tapered and cropped (another pervasive trend we've noticed), and the emphasis, like many other designers this season, started with the shoulders, draping, wrapping or knotting at the waist.

The soft draping fabrics were clearly the focus this time around. There were voluminous printed pocket squares spilling from micro-check trench coats, contrasting -pattern button plackets and collars on pattern-covered shirts, and geometric weaving inspired ascots paired with subtle tone- on-tone argyle pattern knits. It was at least a four-pattern pileup (Van Noten apparently sourced the textiles from mills in six different countries).

At the end of the final runway walk, as the designer came offstage from his bow, a giant thunder clap boomed around us and the crowd whooped and applauded all the harder. Not a bad endorsement, if you can get it.

Thankfully you don't need to take my word for it, check out the video below. Dries Van Noten is in a white shirt and khaki-colored pants with a lanyard around his neck. Even if you're not interested in the whole video, watch from about 8:43.

-- Adam Tschorn in Paris

More photos from the Dries Van Noten show

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Photo credit: Jonas Gustavsson