Let’s face it: Raincoats typically aren’t the sexiest items in your closet. That’s even when you factor in the recent emergence of technical-leaning jackets from designers like Herno and Moncler. Sure, brands like Burberry and Private White V.C. do them well—think classic camel waxed cotton, belts to cinch in the waist and accentuate broad shoulders, and refined horn buttons—but no matter how practical these styles may be, covetable they are not.
That is, of course, until Dries Van Noten chose to turn his attention to the humble rain shield. The designer closed his eclectic, western-meets-punky-English fall collection with eye-catching raincoats that swirled the vibrant prints that had walked down the runway before them into dreamy marble patterns. Now, the brand is teasing its fall collection (and has us dreaming of rainy days) by releasing the artistic coats (from $1,600) in a limited-edition series, which will be available at Barney’s in New York and online retailer Mr Porter early this month.
The styles take the traditional technique of Ebru marbling—a process by which oil-based inks are swirled onto a watery surface and then transferred onto paper (think the richly colorful patterns that line the inside of your prized stash of first-edition books)—and has applied it to textiles for the first time. Dries Van Noten’s design teamed tapped a master Ebru artist in order to transition the style from one medium to the next, a process that took over 300 tries to get just right. Eventually these samples, as they sat littered across the floor of the brand’s London workshop, inspired the vibrant, often delightfully clashing colorways of the resulting coats.
Ranging from subtle oil-slick black-on-brown-on-purple to neon yellow spliced with forest green and gunmetal gray, each of the coats feature unique marbling patterns. Just 10 examples of each of the 10 different colorways will be available at each retailer, so if you want that sandy mac punched up by psychedelic swirls aquamarine, chartreuse, and black, you better move quickly.
Beyond aesthetics, the styles offer a transitional twist on the now-ubiquitous statement coat. They are ultra-lightweight—you can slip them on now if any summertime showers are in the forecast without overheating, and will be able to layer them up over thicker sweaters and wools once the temperatures drop. We can’t wait to weather the next storm.