So on the day I looked at an apartment up at Marcadet Poissoniers and then went back down to Saint Germain where I was living at the time, I saw the spring 2010 Dries van Noten window display. In the neighborhood up in the 19th arrondisement there was a mix of food shops, african video shops, and fabric shops. And the fabrics were all the cotton wax prints with their bright colors and bold patterns that I have seen all around the city without really thinking of the cultural signification or where they came from. And then when I saw the same prints in the window at Dries, something clicked. It was like the ultimate translation between real life and runway, and then back to the street. the prints were on silk, and the garments a bit more designed, but the prints and the colors were exactly the same. It is like the team went up to these stores, bought some bolts, and reproduced them on crepe de chine and charmeuse rather than cotton batiste and poplin. Low budget inspiration traveling. It feels exotic, but it is a metro ride away. And walking down the street right past these windows. And so the context is entirely altered, but the source of it is unchanging. And I am still way more fascinated by the women I see in their headscarves, tops, and dresses, with a bolt of fabric tied around their backs, supported on their bust, carrying their babies snugly against their backs than by the version walking out of the Dries Store.
It just seems more natural.