Wandering through the intimate universe of the Belgian designer was a delight, as we come across different pieces of art borrowed to the photography, music, movie extracts and even fashion that inspired his man and woman collections.
Dries Van Noten belongs to the « Antwerp Six », the informal group composed of Belgian avant garde fashion designers along with Ann Demeulemeester, Marina Yee, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene and Dirk Bikkembergs. By the way, you can check how to pronounce some of them in the video « How to pronounce notoriously difficult design names ».
Expect to see quite a number of paintings in this exhibition as they represent the emotional trigger for entire collections such as the « Democrates are more beautiful » by Elizabeth Peyton. But don’t expect all inpirations to be that obvious, some are more subtle, related to a color or a concept. What I liked about his collections is that women and men codes are often inverted, men will be assigned feminine features like lace, while women will get very masculine silhouettes.
We came across a guide that was explaining every inspiration panel and it was really worth listening to her explanations as they unveil the creation process and help understand all the references behind the elements composing the exhibition. I particularly liked the reference to two paintings that are nowhere alike: Gerhard Richter Mohn and a Bronzino portrait, Dries Van Noten explained that Bronzino portrait back surely resembles Gerhard Richter Mohn front, speaking of the textile detail below. He applied this idea to the flower embroideries sewn the jackets in one of his collections (also in the cover of the book « Dries Van Noten).
Cover of the book « Dries Van Noten »
Now, here come the pictures of my favorite pieces, everything I like, brocade, camo prints, hammered silk, safran and gold color, sharp silhouettes, checked items…
If you ever have the chance to attend this exhibition, I strongly recommend you to do it, it is marvelous.
For your information, it lasts until end of august 2014.