To celebrate its 100th fashion show, Dries Van Noten did something not many brands do nowadays. It might have been a pretty monumental moment for the brand, but Noten played it cool: The designer put his favourite throwback designs from over the years on all of his favourite women. The move was both genius and very French, bien sûr, but that casting move resulted in an idea that is actually — yes, in 2017 — considered quite new.
Almost all of the models were over the age of 30. And there was solid representation in terms of racial and size diversity, too. But let's be honest: If you think today's crop of Insta models are the only ones to watch, then you may have had trouble recognising the faces that came down the Dries catwalk. The model brigade included Caroline de Maigret, 42; Yasmin Warsame, 40; Amber Valletta, 43; Erin O'Connor, 39; Nadja Auermann, 45; and Carolyn Murphy, 42. They wore blazers, jumpers, trousers, and coats that make us wish autumn came twice a year. The show even included Alek Wek, 39, who came out of retirement to support the house.
But apart from the show's anniversary element (which seemed more like a heartwarming reunion than a viral spectacle), and the beautiful collection, the show's casting felt like somewhat of an antidote to a Paris Fashion Week season that's thus far been overshadowed by the negativity surrounding the unethical treatment of models. Earlier this week, casting director James Scully took to Instagram to call out the casting agents behind shows as big as Balenciaga and Lanvin. Clearly not taking heed of Scully's claims, Lanvin's catwalk featured only one black model and one Asian model (both wearing sunglasses).