It was a brilliant riff from the current zeitgeist, a pre-occupation with iPods and MP3 players, something that was not lost on Dries van Noten who had the models carry their own music on the catwalk. For all I know, it might even be DvN’s nod on the recently concluded CES and men’s love for gizmos and gadgets. Whatever the reason was, it set the tone for this season –modern and sleek with just a touch of retro to make it very interesting. A discordant soundtrack to match the clashing elements of this mash-up collection. Dries van Noten braided together three strains of men’s fashion -Belgian modern, English heritage and Japanese-interpreted American sportswear- and not simply by styling them together, but by splicing fabrics together. Contrasting sleeves were the main example, and at times were attached to linings only, leaving the innards of the shoulders to show. All these years you thought your sleeves had to match the rest of your outfits ? Taking fabric-mixing to a place unseen since high-school letterman jacket days, Dries van Noten displayed charcoal wool pin-striped blazers with navy sleeves, and gray crewneck sweatshirts with houndstooth sleeves. Mr van Noten’s familiar folkloric pattern mixes were replaced by English patterns, especially loud club stripes. Cavalry fabrics and Harris tweeds added outdoorsy texture to blazers and tailored coats with structured shoulders. Wool puffer citified vests layered over suit jackets struck a similar 2-tone effect. Much of it even makes sense. The Belgian designer rounded it all out with clunky brogues, short-cropped pants, some handsome belted topcoats, and plenty of winter khaki. The overall silhouette remained roomy and cinched high on the waist. Cropped, triple-pleat trousers alternated with bunchy fleece sweatpants. Some gorgeous classics with a twist, such as a cashmere sweater with a slight scoop neck and a camel peacoat with épaulettes, were the high points of the collection. Fashion loves a hybrid, but perhaps three parents are one too many. New American passports say 'Parent 1' and 'Parent 2', nothing more.