Let me preface: I am highly biased against plaid. But for all the grunge connotations that plaid conjures in my mind, Dries Van Noten has managed to overcome my normal objections to this particular print. In fact, he has done something rather remarkable: he has made plaid positively elegant. This spring collection is full of ease and style, evoking a rather romantic air with the diaphanous layering. And while Van Noten adheres to a slim, gently sloping shape throughout, the silhouette feels very feminine without the standard rigid hourglass structure. There is an effortless to his layering that I think we all strive for with our personal style. This sort of romanticism feels translatable to our everyday lives with looks that allow one to feel both comfortable and put together, two qualities that are not often found together. More importantly, I like that this collection stirs the dreamer in me. He makes his audience feel something beyond the simple curation of beautiful clothes, though that is part of it. And in spite of the sheer volume of looks (and for all the variation), Dries Van Noten crafts together a cohesive collection that brings me along for the emotional journey. Which speaks volumes about his strength as a designer.