PARIS - Dries Van Noten thinks fashion is far too serious.
That's why the fall-winter 2013-14 show saw the Belgian designer explore his usual menswear-womenswear tailoring via the frivolity of ballroom dancing, feathers and the dancing two-some Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Wednesday's show was proof again of Van Noten's mastery when it comes to the art of clashing styles.
"I started from the menswear pants, and then the opposite is ballroom dancing ... big feathers," he said backstage at Paris' grand Hotel de Ville. "Fashion is so serious, so the hints of the Fred and Ginger story were fun."
Who better to represent the Van Noten universe, where men's and women's styles merge together, than one of the most iconic and inseparable male-female couple in Hollywood history?
Ostrich feathers in midnight blue, faded grey and tea rose billowed like 1930s boas with large vivid embroideries, vintage fur alongside men's baggy pants, club stripes and Prince of Wales check.
Some of the feathered fringing floated past wistfully, only to be reined in by the humorous juxtaposition of a menswear cut.
One fantastic look said it all: a sumptuous navy feathered skirt (Ginger), and a large tuxedo shirt (Fred.)
In Van Noten's world, like in Hollywood, there's no man without the woman, no Ginger without Fred.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP