Take a look at Dries Van Noten’s 100th show at Paris Fashion Week
From fresh to seasoned faces and neutrals to bright patterns, Dries Van Noten recently celebrated his 100th show at Paris Fashion Week, with odes to his past 99. Casting models who have walked for him in shows dating back to 1993, Van Noten’s show featured a total a 54 models, some of whom are in their forties. The likes of Amber Valletta, Carolyn Murphy, Alek Wek and Ester de Jong graced the runway in some of his most notable prints – a Japanese kimono print from Fall 2017, and an English floral print from 1994, for example.
The third generation of a family of Belgian tailors – both of his parents also owned their own boutiques – the fashion industry was a logical step for young Van Noten. Graduating from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1980, Van Noten also became known as a member of the Antwerp 6 in the 80’s. Made up of 6 of Belgium’s most influential avant-garde designers, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Marina Yee, Dirk Van Saene and Dirk Bikkembergs, also alumni of the same school, the designers were dubbed the “Antwerp 6” when they caught the attention of British press after driving their collection over to London in 1986. They quickly grew in notoriety and transformed Belgium’s fashion reputation.
The Antwerp 6
Van Noten’s designs speak louder than his quiet demeanor, with his style distinguished by his intricate mix of cuts and fabrics and patterns from around the world. Van Noten is also particularly known for his sensitivity toward his diverse inspiration, ensuring he uses cultural motifs with respect. Despite such inspiration, Antwerp has remained the cornerstone of the Belgian designer’s brand, where he has maintained both his home and studio throughout his career.
“We [referring to the Antwerp 6] don’t want to become a little Paris … we want to stick to Antwerp and keep our own image and spirit” – Dries Van Noten, shortly after graduating from Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts
Van Noten has not only remained independent over the course of his career, but has also purposefully avoided advertising, press, and even associating celebrities with his collections, allowing him to retain full control of his work. Further, in an industry known for its focus on sales of accessories such as shoes and jewelry, he has estimated that upwards of 90 percent of his brand is purely clothing. Van Noten is no anarchist, but he is definitely a rule bender, and his collections have undoubtedly been influenced by his approach to business. It is no wonder, then, that the strictly ready-to-wear designer has garnered such a cult following of fashion lovers.
“I’m not trying to fight against systems and rules which are made by other people or which are established in fashion. It’s just that we work in an organic way.”
To commemorate his 100th show, we’ve rounded up looks from 10 of Van Noten’s most memorable shows.
“For me, clothes are something you really make with your heart. You do your best to create something that you really believe in, you show it and you hope the reaction is going to be good.”
Van Noten is also uploading each show on his website, where it can be viewed for 24 hours. It will then be placed in a “silent archive” where it can be viewed without sound.
Keshra is a content creator at Glossi Mag.
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