Dries Van Noten Inspirations exhibition in Paris

The Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten first established himself during the 1980s, when he famously exhibited his inventive and radical collection in London in 1986 as part of “The Antwerp Six” collective. Described by The New York Times as “one of fashion’s most cerebral designers”, Van Noten’s whimsical yet graceful outtakes have gained him worldwide recognition.

Les Arts Decoratifs museum in Paris has recently set up an exhibition that celebrates and traces the path of Van Noten’s intimate artistic universe, aimed at revealing numerous sources of inspiration that hide behind his creative process. Appropriately titled “Inspirations”, the exhibition will display the designer’s incredible clothing alongside a wide range of photographs, videos, musical references and artworks.

Borrowed both from private and public collections, as well as museum’s own pieces, the exhibition showcases objects that have triggered the designer’s imagination throughout his life and career: from the typical Renaissance “chambers of wonder” or “curiosity cabinets” full of souvenirs and knick-knacks, to selected pieces from emblematic couturiers such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Christian Dior, in addition to 1980s designers, included in the show to evoke subjects intimate to designer’s work such as youth, the archetype, ambiguity and passion.

Showing more than just a simple selection of a designer’s work, “Inspirations” has the aim of recreating the universe of Dries Van Noten’s creative force, where cultural icons, materials, styles and personal passions overlap in an eclectic mix of references: from important artists such as Bronzino, Kees Van Donge and Francis Bacon, to milestones of international cinema with Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange and Jane Campion’s The Piano.

“Dries Van Noten – Inspirations” will run until August 31st 2014 at Les Arts Decoratifs in Paris.

Francesca Crippa – Images courtesy of Les Arts Decoratifs