Why does a pearl-encrusted cashmere sweater, selling for a thousand Euros, matter to us civilians?
OK, we are going to talk about fashion for a minute. I don’t really follow fashion all that much, except for my hero Dries Van Noten. I follow him the way Yankees fans follow spring training.
I knew, for example, exactly when his Autumn/Winter 201617 collection would be coming down the runway in Paris, and I awaited the video of the show, the photos and the reviews. You honest to God never know what he’s going to do next, but you know it’s going to be lush and surprising and usually involve strange and beautiful models. He’ll look at the Ballets Russes, paintings by Whistler, Japanese textiles, digital photography. It’s all so, so interesting.
I’m fascinated by a new video interview with Dries Van Noten in the New York Times. I think it’s my favorite, because we get to see his studio, which is surely one of the true wonderlands.
For Autumn/Winter 2016-17, he drew inspiration from a love affair between people I’d never heard of, Gabriele D’Annunzio and an early 20th-century femme fatale, Marquesa Luisa Casati. Right on! Let’s go!
It’s a gender-bending, pearls-’n’-cheetah print collection. You can hear him talk about all this in this video. He is the most modest, unwacky guy you could possibly imagine. Maybe his unfettered imagination gets to live in these clothes, and he leaves it all on the runway.
Knits are a part of it all, as often happens in Driesland.
Here is a gray pullover encrusted with pearls. Apparently the Marchesa was known to crush pearls in fits of passion or fury or something. I love this sweater. It may be my next altered sweater. May need to unstring all my fake pearls.
You can buy this sweater for a thousand Euros.
And this is straight-up fascinating.
Now, this all seems pretty far afield from daily life here in Nashville, Tennessee. But I guarantee you, pearls and cheetah prints and aran sleeveless tunics will show up in a store near us, soon. I’m reminded of one of my all-time favorite movie scenes, from The Devil Wears Prada, in which Meryl Streep explains in a devastating way, how Anne Hathaway has come to wear her dumpy, cerulean blue sweater.
A cashmere sweater encrusted with pearls gives us all a world of things to think about. We can follow a designer at whatever level we can afford. We can spend a fortune, or we can watch for free.