I just watched this fashion documentary on Netflix, simply titled DRIES and as I didn't know much about the fascinating man behind this fashion label, I dived right in. #driesvannoten #fashiondesigner #antwerpsix
You have to keep your eyes open at all times.
I love watching documentaries and reading biographies, because I find people's life stories fascinating and there is also so much you can learn from how other people look at life and how they live their own. The one of Dries Van Noten is a particularly interesting one, as for starters he is from Belgium and came to fame back in the late 80's as part of the ANTWERP SIX. I enjoyed this documentary mainly because it dived deep into his creative process and it was interesting to see how he works. For example, a lot of fashion designers start from shapes, while Dries starts with a person, a story, an object, a feeling he wants to create and for that he needs materials, which he uses to tell his story. The possibility to create any fabric he needs is amazing, as the actual fabric development takes the manufacturers 4-5 months to create.
"It's the way he dreams. The way he looks at things. Everything inspires him." Pamela Golbin, Chief Curator, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris
Watching this documentary, it was nice to see how things come so naturally to Dries. How he finds a way for fabrics and colours to clash, so that the balance is just right and it stays interesting. The combination of putting different elements, different materials together, is so freeing even if it might not have been your natural, first selection, but by clashing them you find new, much more fascinating ways of layering an outfit. What you find is that, the best material combinations are born by accident.
"The magic is something you don't think much about. It's when people can feel it's done with honesty and passion. That there's reality behind it." Dries Van Noten
As a bit of a back story, Dries parents ran a few fashion stores when he was growing up, but from a young age he knew he didn't want to just buy and sell fashion, he wanted to create it. He realised this dream by creating the group called THE ANTWERP SIX with other friends from college and this is where classicism became part of his work. Dries has always had a huge respect for skills, a fascination with couture and couture shapes.
"My clothes adapt to the personality of the woman wearing them. Not the other way around." Dries Van Noten
His first solo women's collection was the summer collection of 1994, in which he used lots of florals and prints on silk, but soon realised silk looked more like a "special occasion" wear, so he simply threw the garments into a washing machine. This shrunk them, making them look crinkled and therefore more suitable as casual daywear. Suzy Menkes, the famous fashion critic, loved this collection and gave Dries a raving review and then Madonna wore a piece from the collection and as they say, the rest is history!