Mood board: The fashion world is divided in two groups: those who like maximalist Dries and those who prefer it when he keeps it nice and minimal. Both of them get what they want on a regular basis but, on the whole, this one was for the over-the-top Dries lovers. This season, the Belgian designer went back to a world of decadent sequins, colour juxtapositions and louche layered foulards. This season's Dries girl is, as the brand states, 'Cocktails at five, addicted to fun, elegance and artifice'. Fittingly, she will wear nothing but the most decadent and chic – satin dresses, scarves nonchalantly pieced together, brocade trousers, transparent chiffon skirts with slits and bejewelled tops worn under slouchy, robe-like coats. And without a doubt, that style agrees with her. For all who yearn for minimal Dries, it is impossible to admit that the designer is always at his most brilliant when playing with lavishness.
Scene setting: After last season's escape to Bercy for his 100th show, this time it was back to Hôtel de Ville, the palace in the centre of Paris holding the mayor's offices. Etienne Russo, Dries' longtime friend and collaborator, knows the designer like no other, and decided the perfect setting for a decadent and optimist collection would be this baroque building full of colour-blown frescoes, gilded furniture and exaggerated crystal chandeliers. Paris showgoers know the place well (Dries shows there regularly and recently Vivienne Westwood and Bouchra Jarrar for Lanvin took a liking to the venue). Nevertheless, its luxury 'à la française' never fails to impress.
Finishing touches: The accessories could be the highlight here– those chunky-heeled, brocade knee-high boots in golden shades, the casual slip-on sandals and the strass chandelier earrings were all irresistibly appealing. But it was the hair and make up that really got us going. No need for lipstick or eyeshadow here; when Dries says 'luxury' he really means it, and in terms of beauty that translates as crystals all over the eyes, the lips and even the hair. They were not big or too present, but just about enough to send a glittering spark across the catwalk. The audience were left wishing they had those almost as much as they wished for a foulard satin dresses.