Let’s start right away with the basic observation: the new collaboration between Stüssy and Dries Van Noten looks like one of the funniest and coolest clothing collections we’ve seen in a long time. A seminal skate brand born in Southern California and the creativity of a refined Belgian designer may seem like two strange travel companions. Yet it is precisely because of their peculiar characteristics that the collaboration turns out to be surprising. How else could we have admired something as ingenious as the collection’s centerpiece: a parka jacket with a bong transformed into a spray-painted flower pot on the back?
The full Stüssy x Dries Van Noten collection is full of fun mash-ups of the genre, but it is not lacking in completeness. There are varsity jackets, tie-dye t-shirts, color-rich parkas, co-branded joggers and sweatshirts, shirts, bleached jeans, and a rhinestone-covered tuxedo. Interesting is how Stüssy, a notorious smoker, and Van Noten, renowned for his floral prints, manage to strike a balance: a turgid pink … on fire. It’s almost club tailoring; a bouquet that blossoms into Stüssy’s iconic eight-ball, the so-called “ball of destiny” in American carom because if you throw it in the hole as the last one it decides the game and if it falls first you lose everything; finally, the aforementioned bong that becomes a vase. Overall, the whole collection conjures up the image of those good guys from Stüssy offering Van Noten some weed while he talks to them about floriculture. The collection will be on sale in the United States, starting Friday, November 18, in Dover Street Market and Dries Van Noten stores, as well as on the designer and Stüssy’s website.
Also, if you thought it couldn’t get any better than this: Flea, the bassist from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, stars in the collection’s campaign. You have to admit, he’s got the right attitude: the jacket and tuxedo pants are worn along with a gold chain and bass guitar he’s clutching in his hands. In fact, shirts are scarce in the campaign images. Flea rocks simple sweatpants and walks past the photographer sporting a smile of his own and an oversized varsity jacket.
The collaboration between Stüssy and Dries Van Noten is part of a long list of designers who have teamed up with streetwear brands. Doors have opened thanks to Louis Vuitton and Supreme, and the trend has continued with partnerships such as Palace x Gucci and Dior with Shawn Stüssy, the founder of Stüssy, who left the brand in 1996. Yet somehow, the collaboration between DVN and Stüssy does not seem like a due act on the part of either brand. They have found an explosive chemistry, Flea’s enthusiasm, the clothes are really great and, even more rare when it comes to fashion, they are really fun.