Its quite a while since we have visited the Dries van Noten exhibition at Les Arts décoratifs in Paris. And almost everyone already said a lot about it on the internet.
For all, who haven’t read about it until now here comes the short background: Dries van Noten is an Antwerp designer, who was part of the original Antwerp 6, a group of designers who traveled to London in 1986 and showed their collection with groundbreaking success. Until today he runs his privately owned company. The exhibition wants to give an insight into van Notens creative process by showing inspirational items (e.g. paintings, vintage fashion, photography) next to van Noten runway outfits.
Everything around us somehow inspires and influences us. Although I think most people are not aware of that (… it happens somehow subconscious…). Its not too uncommon for a fashion exhibition to give an insight into a designers inspirations. E.g. the “Louis Vuitton – Marc Jacobs” exhibition, which was held at the same museum back in 2012 showed Marc Jacobs inspiration in form of a screen installation entitled “Topsy Turvy”. Whats quite new for me is the approach to show the inspiration as something touchable directly next to the collection.
Especially in the case of a vintage fashion item, like the 1910 ankle boots, this kind of presentation breaths new life into the pieces. They start to look so contemporary. Just imagine how the above ankle boots would look if they were shown with a 1910 gown – quite old in my opinion. But in the new context they look so contemporary – I could easily imagine to wear those shoes with a loosely fitted skinny jeans rolled up to the ankle. In this way the Dries van Noten exhibition somehow also touches the theme of the opening exhibition of the Louis Vuitton Espace Culturel in Munich “No such thing as history” … as long as you respect it and mix it up it always remains contemporary.
My favorite displays in this divine exhibition? I really liked the display with the graphic reference. It showed a Serge Gainsbourg photo as well as a Balenciaga dress together with van Notens spring 2009 collection. The white oversized pants with graphic shirt and black knit are so great I would have loved to take them out of the display and directly back home.
Another cool display was the one with the film noir references and photographs of film kisses on the floor. My stand-out here was the oversized tux jacket from van Notens spring 2011 collection. No matter if belted or unbelted it would look so cool in the street!!! Proofs that fashion doesn’t move so fast if you buy pieces from such an exceptional designer.
I personally totally adored the “lightscapes” display. It shows how van Noten got inspired by photographer James Reeve during the 2010 Hyères festival. The lightscape prints are so fascinating!
And finally I adored the tulip embroidery from 1889, which inspired the incredible spring 2014 collection, which I hope to get my hand on during the sale!
Actually I think I could continue for hours with my explanations on the Dries van Noten exhibition.
Dries van Noten Inspirations, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais du Louvre – runs until August 31st 2014