If inspiration is the stuff of which dreams are made, Dries Van Noten is full of ideas. Recently, he came up with his most ambitious one to date; he set out to create an exhibition featuring the original artworks, garments and objects that have inspired him throughout his life and career. Simply titled Inspirations, the show just opened at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, offering an all-encompassing glimpse into the visual world of Dries Van Noten. It takes guests from 19th-century military uniforms through 50s Christian Dior couture to 80s Kansai Yamamoto, while artworks include 16th-century Bronzino portraiture through 30s Cecil Beaton to a very recent Raqib Shaw composition. Dries was born in Antwerp in 1958, graduated from the city’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1980, and showed his first collection in London in 1986 as part of the illustrious Antwerp Six. This exhibition tracks the evolution of his dreams and his reality, and illustrates through a maze of majestic rooms the inspirations that have shaped some of the grandest and most memorable collections of the past three decades. It also became the foundation for the textiles in Dries’ spring/summer 14 collections. While the designer was putting the final touches to the installation, i-D visited him at Les Art Decoratifs with one of the house’s most devoted fans, our Fashion Features Editor Anders Christian Madsen. Together, the two wandered through the springtime Jardins des Tuileries and talked about the dreamy world of Dries.
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