Belgiums Dries Van Noten delivers masterful collection of traveller chic

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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PARIS - Dresses made from artfully draped saris; cropped jackets in eye-popping African wax prints; slim-cut trousers in Cambodian silks. Belgian designer Dries Van Noten on Sunday wove ravishing fabrics from far-flung locales into a splendid spring-summer 2010 ready-to-wear collection made for the sophisticated traveller.

Noten, an Antwerp-based critical darling known for his ethnic prints, went back to his roots with a collection that was all about distilling prints, colours and textures from the world over and transforming them into a distinctive look.
The show - held in an empty storefront in Paris' wildly expensive jewelry hub Place Vendome - found the perfect equilibrium between sophistication and a relaxed casual appeal, with just a touch of bling.
Van Noten paired skirts made from saris, with a swath of silky material fluttering behind with putty colored shirts and chunky necklaces hung with massive crystals. A boxy, abbreviated jacket in multicolored vertical stripes was worn with a yellow shirt in southeast Asian silk over metallic silver trousers.
One model sported a trenchcoat in swirling violet, red and yellow - like an oil spill - with heels in metallic green.
Each look was more appealing than the next. Each was a journey, its own continent-hopping adventure.

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