No show demonstrates this better than his surprising menswear collection Thursday for spring-summer 2013.
Camouflage print featured on shorts, pants, shirts and jackets — sometimes even just on strips.
It made the models look like they should run off and hide.
Then fencing gear — such as quilted, white breastplates, and jackets with sword-proof velcro lapels — said "I'm ready for attack."
There was no middle ground: silhouettes were either unstructured and loose or tight and tailored.
Colours were either muted or in flashes of unapologetic electric blue, orange, ochre and canary.
One ensemble had it all: a see-through fencing shirt in blue and white branded with a horizontal strip of camouflage.
To add to the symphony of confusion, this sheer shirt was paired to clash with thick check plaid trousers.
There were some very salable looks: one trendy oversized black, blue and grey knit sweater — a nod back to the 1980s — is sure to be a hit.
Another extremely simple baggy grey sweater and assorted cardigan was pure elegance.
So with such a strong collection — and all its camouflage — what does the designer need to hide from?
"I'm not hiding from anything," said Van Noten backstage, confidently. "That's why I put it on a white catwalk."
Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP