A Win For Age-Diversity At Dries Van Noten

All runway shows should look like this

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The debates and chatter have blown into Paris with the wind and rain, during what has been one of the most politically charged and talk-fueled runway seasons in recent history.

Whether it was James Scully courageously calling out casting agents for their cruel treatment of young models, the rise of fashtivism, whispers about which designers will go where, reviews of Trump's first speech to Congress, or speculation about the presidential odds of National Front representative, Marine Le Pen, it's all happening and being talked about on the front row, here in Paris.

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So thank goodness for the clothes, an anchor of sorts when the winds reach gale force.

And there have been some good ones, including flamboyant glittery boots, flashy Forties-inspired dresses and whimsical bags to make a woman excited about getting dressed in six months time.

For example, Dries van Noten celebrated his 100th show with a nod to some of his greatest hits. The collection was an explosion of print and colour, which the Belgian designer is famous for, but also an easy glamour, thanks to his relaxed tailoring.

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The show was basically a lesson in how to dress down your dressing up: wear a boyfriend jean with your metallic blazer and (faux) fur jacket as Yasmin Warsame did, or trainers with your camel and navy work suit like the look worn by Mica Arganarez. Or you can use a pair of white knee-high boots and jeans to push a graphic dress to a cooler place as shown by Nataša Vojnović.

If you're gagging at the names of those models, imagine how we felt in the audience.

The show's cast had all your favourite faces from the Nineties and beyond – women who have walked in Dries' shows in years past, including Amber Valleta, Carolyn Murphy, Malgosia Bela, Emma Balfour, Nadja Auermann, Liya Kebede, Alek Wek and more.

It was another AW17 win for age diversity and a reminder of how out of touch casting agents can be from actual fashion consumers.

All runways should celebrate ageless beauty the way designers like Dries have, with a meaningful representation of the women who buy the clothes. Plus, I don't know very many adult female luxury fashion consumers who aspire to look like a 15 year old.

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