For all of you who missed out on the Dries Van Noten Inpirations exhibition in both Paris and Antwerp (you have until Sunday), I decided to dedicate a post to the beautiful walk through Dries' collections and wide range of inspirations. Okay everyone might have already written about it, but I couldn't help but feature a bit of Belgian pride on my blog. And I took a million photos, so even if you didn't get the chance to go personally, I hope these pictures will make you feel like you went there too.First a little background story about the the exhibition. Dries Van Noten Inspiration brings together Dries' work and the art, fashion and people who inspired him when creating his collections throughout the 30 years of his career. Through this exhibition, you get a little peek into the creative process of Dries. The exhibition was shown in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris almost all of last year.
Though the exhibition got extended by months, I never got the chance to go see it in Paris. So I was really happy when I heard that the exhibition would move to the MoMu in Antwerp. However lending art works and then moving them to Belgium isn't always possible, so Dries had to rethink about 60% of the exhibition. This means that MoMu's exhibition is not really a copy of the one in Paris, but something new. I wish I could have compared the two but I will have to settle with having seen "just" one. Let's go...
Starting backwards (see first image too): Dries' most recent Spring Summer collection, which has been one of my favourite collections so far. I love this combination of colour, fabrics and prints so much. And remember the runway show where the models sat down on the moss-carpet at the end? Truly dreamy.
Elsa Schiaparelli SS 1937 dress in front of Damien Hirst's "Rapture" (2003)
I didn't take not of all the works but the work below is from Yves Klein, one of my favourite artists, iconic for his Yves Klein blue, the most beautiful shade of blue.
Inspiration: Grunge. These are some pieces from the SS13 collection, which is my sister's favourite collection from Dries. I remember seeing so many other brands who were inspired by this collection that year. Like BoF mentions: "His 90s grunge inspired womenswear collection in Spring/Summer 2013 wasn't just of the moment, it was the moment."
The Gold room was one of my favourite spaces of the exhibition. As Dries says, gold has "endless visual potential".
The oldest item of the exhibition and the newest: a gold Inca mark and a Hedi Xandt gold head with spikes, which was printed in 3D just before the exhibition started since it only existed as a picture when Dries discovered it.
Love the gold detailing on this A/W '06 '07 coat: how to make an all-black winter outfit more interesting.
The art work below was my favourite of the whole exhibition. I didn't note down the name so correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is Thierry de Cordier's work.
After the black & white geometric inspirations and collections, it's time for the more bohemian, colourful and fantasy printed designs. The walls, floor and ceiling of this room looked like one big tropical flower garden. Dries is known to be an avid gardener in his spare time, so it's no wonder that the beauty of nature is a big source of inspiration for him. Isn't that the case for all of us anyway?
"I deal with the stress of the fashion industry by working the earth.” - DVN
Part of this room was given a specific earthy mossy scent, curated by Norwegian chemist and scent-expert Sissel Tolaas, who can recreate every single scent, I've heard. Really interesting how even scent was added to the exhibition, as this is one of the most important senses to me. I should read more about her work (note to self).
Dries' collection almost always contain some pieces which have intricate beading. I must say that the items with beading are always the ones which most catch my attention, because they are always made so incredibly well and detailed. On different screens on one wall, you can see different beading processes; I think I could stare at this forever.
Indian sari inspiration...
I remember this collection quite well, as I was studying in London back then and spotted the lightscape clutches are Selfridges.
If you want to see the exhibition in real life, you have one last chance. This weekend, Saturday 18/07 and Sunday 19/07 are the very last days, so the MoMu kindly opens its door from 10 am until midnight. Sounds like the perfect plan to me! If you're not in Antwerp this weekend, and totally missed out on both exhibitions in Paris and Antwerp, I hope this post gave you a good sneak peek. Alternatively, I can really recommend the beautiful book. Let me know if you also went to the Dries Van Noten Inspirations in either Paris or Antwerp, did you enjoy it as much as I did?
"The starting point of a collection can either be very literal or abstract: a painting, a certain colour, a thought, a gesture, a smell, a flower, anything really. What matters to me is a journey from that first flash of inspiration to the final destination, the collection."