Dries Van Noten Becomes Latest Designer to Receive Film Treatment

Photo Credit: @DriesVanNoten via Instagram

In the new documentary Dries, set for a 2017 release, Belgian designer Dries Van Noten becomes the latest name in fashion to receive a documentary about his career, following in the footsteps of Anna Wintour in The September Issue and Raf Simons in Dior and I. 

Filmmaker Reiner Holzemer sold the film to Dogwoof Pictures, the distributor behind other high-profile fashion flicks like Iris and The First Monday in May. 

Dries covers the designer’s career and focuses in on a year in the business, where Dries works on four separate collections from both his home and atelier. The doc will feature talking head-style interviews with some of fashion’s most famous names, like Iris Apfel and and Suzy Menkes.

“It took me a very long time to convince Dries to share his passions, his creative and intimate world in front of a camera,” said Holzemer in Variety‘s report. “I followed him for a whole year and I think I came as close to him and his world as it is possible. I hope the result is a very personal insight into his life and career.”

“Reiner’s access to the personal and creative mind of Dries is captivating. Van Noten is one of the most private fashion designers out there and it is a privilege to represent the first film ever made about him, and to witness his creative process,” said a Dogwoof representative.

Insta-Critic: Dries Van Noten’s Intricate Embroidery

Dries Van Noten provided, as ever, a veritable visual feast.
Even though trends were consistent (think, shearlings, long gloves, and those nipped-in waists we keep telling you about), nothing at Dries ever feels like anything you’ve seen before. The show brought together the richest embroideries in luxe colors with utilitarian khakis, but the overall vibe was dressed-up, especially thanks to those neck-wrapping bouquets seen on a number of models.

A hint of fluff and a nipped-in waist

All the women who independent @driesvannoten ‘s ode to passionate women A photo posted by Susie Lau (@susiebubble) on


A bevy of brocade

Regram @driesvannoten | Beautifully rich embroidery from #DriesVanNoten #AW15 #PFW

A photo posted by TWENTY6 Magazine (@twenty6magazine) on

Detail on the amazing embroideries

Dries Van Noten FW’15

A photo posted by eletrikhman (@eletrikhman) on


The floral-adorned neck showed up a few times.

Dries Van Noten FW’15

A photo posted by eletrikhman (@eletrikhman) on

Fit for a modern-day queen.

Dries Van Noten’s Fall Menswear Muses: Oscar Wilde & Frank Zappa

Dries Van Noten’s fall/winter 2012 men’s collection was inspired by none other than Oscar Wilde and Frank Zappa. An odd couple indeed, but we wouldn’t expect anything less from the outre Belgian designer. To match the out-of-the-box muses, models walked to a narration of Wilde’s The Happy Prince while artists painted a mural in the background that was a fusion of the Irish poet’s phrases in retro font and the inside of Zappa’s mind on an acid trip. But the collection itself was rather tame.

While there were certainly wild prints (we did love the jackets and trousers with zany patterns), there was nothing particularly "Wilde" about the range. Cathy Horyn of the Times said it best by noting that there was "little madness in Mr. Van Noten’s method," which may be a relief for anyone looking to test the designer’s looks in small, wearable doses. Silhouettes were rather conservative and, save for the aforementioned printed pants, men will easily be able to incorporate these style into their looks. In other words, there wasn’t a skirt or pair of meggings in sight.

See the complete collection here.

Photo via Sartorialist

Model Diary: Chartreuse, Burnt Pumpkin & Honeysuckle

Hoary holidays from Canada! All this cold and gray makes me yearn for the warm and color from Miami two weeks ago. I went down for a day to shoot Marie Claire, and even though it was chilly by Florida standards, it was radiant compared to this frozen abyss. I hate to talk about the weather though, so let’s get to that second point that made the shoot so significant: color. One thing that was made clear to me yet again during this shoot was that people in the fashion industry have an acute understanding of color. As I changed into each look, the makeup artist and stylist discussed different color options for eye makeup that would complement the clothes. During one particular outfit change, the makeup artist used the word chartreuse to describe the touches of neon yellow in the Dries collection. How beautiful and soft and historic her chartreuse was to my ugly, reductive neon yellow! And I consider myself a woman of words!

Hearing them speak made me realize the baseness and inaccuracy of my own sense of color. Like when Meryl Streep calls out Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada; we shouldn’t be so ignorant to call something blue, when it is in fact cerulean. Those in the fashion industry use and interpret color in a way akin to artists. I touched on this in another post, when I wrote about how makeup and hair are art forms (I am always overwhelmed when I see the palette of colors laid out on the makeup table—so many colors with such subtle differences, yet the artist is so comfortable and decisive about which colors to use and blend). During this shoot, though, I realized that this comfort with color is not unique to the makeup artist, but to anyone who follows style. Understanding the significance of color is just as important as creating with it. To some, the long list of colors may seem like fashion jargon, but I feel like it must be personally enriching to know and identify each hue. Life might seem brighter and more colorful if I could call each tone by name, instead of struggling to articulate between blues.

A literary friend of mine once saw beauty in a term he coined to describe a skirt I was wearing: burnt pumpkin. Yes, he was drunk at the time, and likely on some psychedelic drug, but he seemed so satisfied by his description, as though he had captured some elusive truth in vintage Rodier.

I thought about this importance of color, and of understanding color, on the subway the other day, while reading Toni Morrison’s Beloved (already one of my favorite books, and I’m only halfway through). Color plays such an important role in the protagonists’ lives. It brightens. It revitalizes. It makes life more bearable amidst a dismal reality of dusty grays. And reading such a poignant truth about color on the M train, on a particularly muted day, made me aware of its importance in my own environment. It seems especially crucial now, back in wintry Canada. So, as the days become whiter with snow and darker with earlier sunsets, I’m going to make a concerted effort to acknowledge whatever colors I can find, and hopefully build up my vocabulary with their wonderfully descriptive names. Some beautiful ones to look forward to for spring, according to Pantone’s Fashion Color Report: honeysuckle, coral rose, silver peony, peapod.

Capping Our Christmas List: Dries Van Noten Reef Coat

Dries Van Noten has steadily risen to elite member status in my fashion Pantheon. He sits in the ruler’s circle, alongside other deities like Rick Owens and Nicolas Ghesquiere. Yet, there is something perhaps even more everlasting in Van Noten’s designs; he spins the idea of wearable “basics” whilst maintaining that kind of quirky/preppy Belgian aesthetic. It’s all very romantically practical.

Look at this piece. It’s simple, but also original. I like that it hybridizes a classic car coat with a varsity baseball jacket – exactly the sort of idiosyncratic combination Van Noten is renowned for. I want to wear this coat driving around New England in an old Jaguar, but with a modern sound system. In USD, it’ll run you about $1350, but Tres Bien Shop is offering 20% off for non-European Union citizens.

And We’re Rolling: A Video Wrap Up From the European Menswear Shows

Just back from the menswear shows in Europe and feeling very inspired. I started in Florence for Pitti Uomo, made my way to Milan, and then on to Paris. I even managed a week of R&R in Greece, which left me feeling centered and ready for work again. It’s a good thing, too, because the videos I am about to present to you took blood, sweat, and tears to download! Needless to say, I’m not the most tech savvy blogger, but I am working on it. (Move over BryanBoy!) Before I left, I invested in a new Flip camera so I could bring a little bit of the collections back home to share. So, without further adieu—and with apologies for my unsteady hand—here are some of my favorite snippets from the shows.

Dolce and Gabbana’s washed whites and—of course—a legendary performance by Annie Lennox…

A moment from the Prada show. Such an important collection!

The finale at Prada. Because I loved the show so much, I decided to give you a double dose.

Light in construction, dark in mood at Dior Homme.

Summer chic at Hermes.

So many good ideas at Louis Vuitton—the layers, the colors, Scott Campbell’s tattoo prints.

A parade of genius at Dries Van Noten.

I loved YSL. A retro feeling with a directional edge.

Lanvin’s romantic rebels.

And last but not least, a new and exciting collection from Raf Simons.

Paris Is The New Punk

Punk rock inspirations abound in Paris this season. Dries Van Noten put on an incredible show yesterday evening, sending out an army of ska-and-rebel rockers. These boys from the mean streets donned a brighter color palette than you’d usually associate with grungier types; white replaced the typical black uniform. Some had bleach stains on their cardigans and cropped jeans that exposed high black army boots. There were lots of covetable pieces on show. Also covetable: Balmain. I had the pleasure of visiting their showroom this morning, where I wanted everything in sight. Designer Christoph Decarin has expanded his menswear collection and it’s sure to fly off the racks as fast as his women’s clothing. The theme was punk rock meets ivy league, and I wanted to enroll in whatever school these kids are attending. A red, sleeveless hoodie with an interesting graphic design on the back, cropped motorcycle pants in denim and leather, and a varsity jacket would all make it to the top of my back-to-school shopping list.

At Comme des Garcons, it was all about skull prints. They came in printed, always black-and-white tie-dyed options, and were sometimes paired against checkerboard patterns or layered beneath amazing cut-out leather motorcycle jackets.

Rough and tumble and ready to start a riot!

image Cropped pants and high boots at Dries. image Paint-splattered-and-bleached-out baddies at Dries. image My favorite look, worn by Cole Mohr at the Dries show. image Balmain’s varsity jacket image This Balmain sleeveless hoodie has my name all over it! image The cropped moto-jean at Balmain. image Great t-shirts! image Spooky skulls at Comme image A leather cut out motorcycle jacket image Cool hair at Comme. Painted skulls on the back of the model’s hair! image More skulls

Dries Van Noten : Avoiding the Fashion Circus

Master colorist and member of the Antwerp 6, fashion designer Dries Van Noten fielded questions from Valerie Steele (FIT’s director and chief curator) as well as from a slew of design students at the Institute’s Kate Murphy Amphitheater this morning. While I missed the luncheon honoring Van Noten yesterday (seemingly a blessing in disguise, as word has it host Maggie Gyllenhaal did most of the talking for him), today offered a rare glimpse into the mind of one of fashion’s most exciting talents. The designer still lives in his native Belgium, a fact which he cites as integral to his creative process: “living and working in Belgium creates a healthy distance from the whole fashion circus. You look at fashion in a different way: a more healthy way.”

Van Noten also managed to clear up any misunderstandings about his only wearing DVN original designs: “I shop a lot I think. I want to see every store that opens. I like to buy and sell; that’s what making clothes is about. I love to shop and discover. I don’t wear clothes from other designers maybe out of laziness. It’s easier to go to my own warehouse and just pick something out.” As for advice for the aspiring designers in the audience: “everything has to be smart. There’s no time to be stupid.” And, as hard as it may seem, embrace all obstacles, Van Noten muses, recalling attending fashion design school at a time when Belgium had no fashion scene whatsoever and when his professors thought there was one designer (“Coco Chanel”) and that “jeans are for poor people.”