Dries van Noten has always been a supporter of artisanship, using some kind of hand made embellishments in most of his collections, and S/S 2013 was no exception. Plaid dominated the canvas, albeit mixed with florals and various kinds of embroidery, it was all about different variations of plaid, on slouchy, comfortable, roomy separates; probably one of the best collections if you don’t mind a lot going on in your clothing. I personally thought it was fantastic and wouldn’t mind more than a few pieces (note the skirts and dresses). Van Noten has always had a knack for separates, here we have plenty that could easily stand alone, the tulle skirts paired with the casual silk shirts are an example of his ease with creating a casual look from luxe pieces, alone and styled with a fancier top, the skirts could be red carpet consideration instantly. What puts van Noten in the A list of designers is not only his facility with mixing color, print and textures but using techniques that now a days computers seem to effortlessly and perfectly spit out in minutes, he is employing women and men who sit and bead, sew and paint the fabric patiently and with great pride. Being aligned very closely with his accessories, here he gave us a slew of wearable pieces. Shoes, again, plaid/polka dotted, no platform, very sexy and feminine, and clutches of the same ilk. In these day’s of immediate gratification and cost concerns, here we have a designer who refuses to forget the past and integrates in a modern and relevant way into the now.