DRIES VAN NOTEN: Antwerp's Design Sensation – Bernard Boutique

DRIES VAN NOTEN: Antwerp's Design Sensation

Dries Van Noten was born in Antwerp 1958 and he became "one of the most cerebral designers", according to The New York Times. Van Noten was the third generation of a family of tailors, as both of his parents worked in fashion. With this introduction to the fashion world at such a young age, his enrolment at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1976 was viewed as a no-brainer. Van Noten was a charter member of the fashion design collective that wanted to undermine the fashion culture of the eighties through daring styling, in fact the entire alumni were known as the iconic Antwerp Six and they embraced the avant-garde. In reference to art, the term means any artist/movement/artwork that breaks societal norms and is regarded as boundary-pushing and innovative.
 Dries is second in this image of Antwerp Six.

Van Noten's collections for women and men are each presented twice a year in Paris and his studio remains anchored in Antwerp, where he is supported by a multi-national team. For Van Noten, finding one’s own voice and individuality is at the pinnacle of his ethos. Rather than depend on traditional advertising, he has chosen to rely on the traditional and natural growth that word of mouth ensures. 

In June 2008, the Council of Fashion Designers of America honoured Van Noten with its International Designer of the Year Award. In 2014, he delivered the grand opening of his first exhibition, Inspirations, featuring his designs and influences at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. In the exhibition, Van Noten’s collections are distinguished by his use of fabrics, such as velvet and satin, and the striking patterns of his designs. The Belgian designer finds his inspiration in nature, Asia, art, music and dreams.

Van Noten has the ability, through his garments, to juxtapose unexpected fabrics, cuts and colours. He is also capable of combining the casual with the elegant, manipulating both ends of the spectrum, that delivers something spectacularly premium. Van Noten has a unique style, which has been called "deluxe bohemia"; it is elegant and timeless. As mentioned, he likes to experiment and he has the tendency to avoid the trend cycle. The designer is signature for his elaborate embroidery, ornate prints and beautiful fabrics: often inspired by cultural research he and his team do during the design process. Van Noten doesn’t just want his collections to be seen as abstractions of fashion, but to be garments that have functionality and can be flaunted by the people. 

Written by Giovanna Scozzari



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