Dries Van Noten Paris Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2016-17
Again, Dries eschewed the grandeur of the Hotel de Ville for a nondescript warehouse, accessed through a garage door. The clothes within, however, contained all the decadence, opulence and imagination that Casati and her lover (the corrupt poet Gabriele D'Annunzio), fashioned their reputations and wardrobes with.
The opening look of capacious faux leopard-fur trousers felt more Muppet Show than 1900 Grand Canal palazzo, but Casati's sense of drama and opulence was felt everywhere else. Leopard print, rich velvet and decorative pearls were repeated themes, matched with Prince of Wales check and sporting blazers for day, then ramped up with sequins and ornate jacquards for night. Star pieces included a beautiful leopard cape worn over wide creased cream trousers, as well as an audacious velvet leopard print suit. Casati kept a pet boa snake (as well as cheetahs with jewelled collars), and snake print decorated ankle boots with sculptural heels, or wound their way across a long black crepe evening dress and the lapel of a tuxedo. Bordeaux and champagne velvets used in sweeping gowns, skirts and sleeveless tops were redolent of the thick draped curtains that hung from her palazzo windows, keeping prying eyes from the opium and cocaine being experimented with inside.