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five dreamy dries looks from autumn/winter 14

Ringing in the opening of his awe-inspiring Inspirations exhibition at Les Arts Decoratifs, Dries Van Noten showed his autumn/winter 14 collection in Paris this week. Drawing on the ravy men’s collection he did for next season, the collection allowed the designer to go crazy after a year of exhausting exhibition preparations, which have seen him calling in art works and clothes from all the corners of the world. “I didn’t say, ‘Okay, now we’re going to work on this period.’ For me it was about playing with bright colours,” a happy Dries commented backstage, and he kept his word. To the sound of School Is Cool’s epic new single Black Dog Panting, which Dries caught on the radio a few weeks ago and decided to put in his show, the designer showed one of his most spontaneous and exhilarating collections ever. We picked his five best looks.

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Text Anders Christian Madsen
Photography Mitchell Sams

  • lilies were in season

    If Dries took home economics in school, you just know he was that child who made a charming centrepiece to go along with the food. Just because he could - and because lilies were in season. No one does a floral motif like Monsieur, and this time he decided to hand-paint them, because why wouldn’t you? He also found time to do a couple of immaculate flower cut-outs. As he said, “I wanted to go from 2-D to 3-D.” He went way beyond that.

    Dries Van Noten autumn/winter 14

  • a princely affair

    For Dries’ newly opened Inspirations exhibition at Les Arts Decoratifs, he thought it would be lovely to get Bronzino’s Portrait of a Man Holding a Statuette from 1545 in, just for good measure. Problem was it hadn’t left its spot at le Louvre since the King of France bought it in the 1700s. But what a king can get his hands on, so can another king and the portrait now hangs in Dries’ exhibition chambers. The Renaissance collars in the collection were directly inspired by Bronzino, and the jacket, well, it’s just princely and fabulous, really.

    Dries van Noten autumn/winter 14

  • legal hallucinogen

    No one throws a little glitter on it quite like Mr Van Noten. He won’t tell you this because he’s way too polite, but one of the reasons he always uses so much embroidery in his collections is because there’s a group of expert embroiders the size of a village in India, who actually depend on his biannual orders to make a living. They make garments such as this hallucinogenic top a reality, and for that we salute them.

    Dries Van Noten autumn/winter 14

  • optical illusion

    There is no such thing as a quiet stripe, and if there is there shouldn’t be. One of the best things about Dries is that he understands the art of going all out, such as this trippy look, which fuses a jacket bordering on op art with a skirt that isn’t just stripy but decidedly golden, too. Dries said he wanted to contrast “the freedom of hand-paints with very controlled lines”, and as far as control goes this look’s got it.


    Dries Van Noten autumn/winter 14

  • Team dvn ftw!

    If you didn’t take Dries Van Noten for the type of fifty-something Belgian gentleman who frequents raves, you could be sorely mistaken. After his genius men’s collection – the fashion embodiment of a glow stick – his womenswear was bound to borrow an element or two, and this orange number ruled them all. A special and much-deserved shout-out also goes out to Nancy Rhodes (who has styled Dries’ shows for fourteen years) for making a techno jacket look totally natural with a dainty ruffley skirt and a cosy rollneck. Team DVN FTW.

    Dries Van Noten autumn/winter 14