Dries Van Noten — both the Belgium-born designer and his eponymous fashion line — have displayed a masterful grasp on the art of mix-and-match dressing since debuting in the mid-’80s. That also extends to Van Noten’s philosophy on availability (he famously only produces ready-to-wear collections that are shoppable in-store and online), a focus on the convergence of civilian streetwear and high-fashion couture, and a passion for colorful irreverence inspired by both human feeling and the natural world. Now, with the initial launch of the Dries Van Noten beauty line, it’s easier than ever to bring a bit of Van Noten’s fanciful, kaleidoscopic aesthetic wherever you go — that is, anywhere you can bring lipstick.
In a press release announcing the new collection, Van Noten describes the line’s development as an exercise in “playing creative ping-pong” and it’s immediately clear what he means upon looking at the actual products. For the debut, the Dries Van Noten beauty range includes 10 fragrances, 30 lipsticks, and a handful of bespoke accessories made to fill, refill, and shuffle around in endless combinations. The fragrances in the collection are inspired by amorphous feelings about nature, music, human interaction, and even the brand’s own history and universe. Every scent was developed by a distinct, respected perfumer, resulting in a line that’s cohesive yet highly individualized — not unlike a Dries Van Noten garment collection, really.
The fragrances are housed in mismatched (yet so perfectly selected) glass bottles with contrasting colors and finishes to suit and reflect the essence of the individual scents — for example, the woody, excitingly illicit Cannabis Patchouli comes in a wood-and-forest-green glass bottle, while the Jimi Hendrix-inspired Voodoo Chile gets its own midnight-blue bottle engraved with a band of metal-etched leaves vaguely reminiscent of the musician's white Stratocaster.
“As I make garments for a lot of different types of people,” Van Noten told Women’s Wear Daily, “it would be strange to do a dictate of perfume, that you say: ‘This is the only smell.’ I wanted really to have quite a range.” The brand is also releasing a more limited range of complementary soaps and hand creams to pair with the fragrances, along with a travel bag made from special archival fabric. Plus, in a strategic move toward sustainability, the scents are all easily refillable. With each perfume powered by beauty and fragrance producer Puig, it’s near-impossible to wear a Dries Van Noten scent and not leave a lasting impression on everyone encountered.
Meanwhile, the lipsticks prove to be just as well-thought-out — and creatively packaged. “Makeup is magic: it’s the way you want to show yourself, to express yourself and how you feel at a certain moment,” Van Noten explains in the beauty collection press release. 15 satin-finish shades, 10 matte shades, five sheer-color lipsticks, and a single transparent balm comprise the heart of the lip-focused line, which the brand promises to round out with a complete face and eye collection in the near future. The lipsticks’ formulas are rich and creamy, featuring a nourishing rosehip oil base but the refillable cases are arguably the most exciting part of the makeup launch. Four unique cases, inspired by prints from the fashion house’s designs, offer a responsible way to try all of the shades.
In addition to the lipsticks themselves, the line launches with a synthetic-hair lip brush, hair combs, pochette bags, and resin-leather compact mirrors. Available March 2, the energizing swirls of color, pattern, finish, and texture arrive just in time for spring.