By now florals are a fashion mainstay, but the newest nature-inspired print trend is landscapes: trees, mountains, oceans, waterfalls, sunsets, and other beautiful scenery. And celebrities have embraced the artsy look via eclectic pieces. Drew Barrymore covered up her baby bump in a Dries Van Noten landscape-print coat with red flats in LA, while Michelle Williams wore a Carven dress with mountains on it with high-top sneakers in NYC. To get in on the celeb-approved trend, shop our favorite landscape-printed pieces below, including the skirt version of Drew's coat ($889).
Van Noten touched on a range of subjects, from the unique relationship he has with his creations to what it was like going to design school at Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Below, some of our favorite quotes from the talks.
On fashion school: "Going to fashion school in the '70s, it was really difficult to be judged by a [teacher] who said, like, 'No short skirts, only pants,' or, 'You can do short skirts, but then you have to cover the knees with stockings,' and things like that . . . 'Long hair is untidy, so it had to be all chignon or short hair.' 'Jeans are for poor people.' So, that was our teacher. So, in fact, when you have so many restrictions, you have to be enormously creative."
On his clothing: "I'm more inspired by things which I don't like . . . nothing is so boring as something beautiful. I prefer ugly things, I prefer things which are surprising . . . You force yourself to ask yourself questions. Quite often I make a collection and I say, 'Here's a color I really don't like.' . . . My assistants will say 'OK, you don't like lilac,' [that means] this season will be lilac."
On runway presentations: "Fashion shows are really my way of communication. I don't go on Twitter, I don't go to parties, I don't often do fashion talks like this. So for me, it's really what I want to communicate. It's the end of the story . . . So the venue, the light, the location, the sound, the hair, the makeup, all makes it for me. You have 10 minutes to explain to your audience what you're doing, what you want to tell. So everything has to be perfect."
On fast fashion: "That's one of the disadvantages of modern technology. It's so fast, that it's already like, a few minutes after the show, on the Internet, you have like, the shoe's details from the back, side, front. It makes it easy sometimes . . . I think it's the reality. I don't want to live in the old world, like 35, 30 years ago when people had prêt-à-porter and that was it. I think fast fashion is good. I think modern people combine vintage with designer clothes, with a piece they buy at Zara or other stores — why not?"
>> This season, Dries Van Noten took a trip to Asia — by way of the archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The scarf-like prints that dominated the collection were actually photo prints taken from the traditional garments of the museum's Far East collection.
To balance the exotic nature of the prints, Van Noten did exactly what Van Noten does best. That is, he kept the silhouettes wearable and and the styling relatable. Cropped coats, midi skirts, and high-neck blouses had an everyday ease about them, while fabrics — wool, tweed, silk — were luxe but practical. A smattering of gold embroidery in the form of cranes in flight looked particularly lovely as embellishment on the bust of a pinstriped blazer.
Karl Lagerfeld Gets a Kitten, Miranda Kerr Gets a New Gig, and All the Best Accessories From the Golden Globes
>> The first full day of Paris Fashion Week shows got off to a lighthearted note backstage — Saskia de Brauw was caught playing air guitar just after walking Rue du Mail, Bette Franke was snapped sniffing Suvi Koponen's necklace pre-Dries van Noten, and a smiling Liu Wen rested herself at the bottom of a spiral staircase behind-the-scenes at Rochas. Those pictures, and more from all three shows, in the gallery.
Photos: Greg Kessler
Dries Van Noten gave us a beautiful vision for Spring 2012, thanks to a myriad of photo prints that ranged from a turquoise sea to the twinkling lights of Las Vegas to idyllic painted landscapes rendered in monochromatic tones. These prints were collaged together on loose silk shifts, crisp white button-downs, and knee-length skirts, in a surprising vignette of beautiful things. Silhouettes weren't ignored though; Van Noten played with structure and volume, adding femininity to his slouchy-structured tailoring with peplum and thick, gorgeously rendered embroidery and lace.
- Trends: photo prints, peplum, apron pants, boleros, embroidery.
- Colors: black, white, turquoise, yellow, rust, teal, hot pink.
- Key Piece: The photo-print pieces; a beautiful white peplum vest, embroidered boleros.
- Accessories: tie-up sandals, minimal tristrap heels, white sunglasses.
- Who Would Wear It:Fashion insiders and risk takers like Liv Tyler, Naomi Watts, and Taylor Tomasi Hill.
>> Hannah MacGibbon did bucket bags at Chloe and Valentino sent out delicate shoulder bags, but really, when it came right down to it, Paris designers had a one-track mind this season: clutches, clutches, and more clutches. See our favorites handbags, overwhelmingly of the clutch variety, in the slideshow — including the Dries Van Noten stunner, at left.
>> At last, the denouement: Fall 2011 Fashion Month is over and out. But before you get back to your regularly scheduled program, may we introduce our favorite shoes from Paris Fashion Week: there's lots of snakeskin, lots of black and white . . . and we couldn't forget those intricately laced Louis Vuitton boots — Kate Moss's pair apparently took four people an hour to lace up!
Paris Fashion Week wrapped up yesterday, and now that the last model has walked the last runway, we're taking a look at our absolute favorites in the eveningwear category. A highlight had to be Alexander McQueen, whose designer Sarah Burton modeled her Winter-white-clad models after the story of the Ice Queen. Or Chanel, where Karl Lagerfeld made the evening jumpsuit the main focus over traditional gowns. There were fun, flirty, short dresses too. We've rounded out the top 25 most stunning evening looks and put them all for you here. Click away.