“I wanted to return to a fashion family. It was about the casting, the collection and just a bare bones show,” Dries Van Noten said of his 100th show for which he brought together 54 models of different generations who had walked for him at various points from 1993 onwards. The presentation in question took place in Paris last March. “I wanted the women to speak for themselves,” the designer continued. “There were no tricks: just light, models, the room, the collection, the soundtrack – the essence of the fashion show.”
Any apparent simplicity belied the careful consideration that went into the presentation and, of course, the clothes. It is nothing if not testimony to Van Noten’s impeccable taste and lightness of touch that such a painstaking reinvention of his own archive could be expressed with such lightness and, that rare and precious thing: joy.
The emotion of family reunited was indeed palpable to all, during fittings and backstage, as younger women modelling today and those whose lives had evolved away from the runway came together. Many of them hadn’t seen each other for many years. Suffice it to say, tears were shed. “I was delighted it ended up as I had hoped,” Van Noten said. “As a celebration of the special relationship and the tremendous camaraderie a fashion designer shares with the women who express his work to the audience at a show or in the pages of a magazine.”
The collection itself revisited Van Noten’s favourite archive prints, each over-printed or embroidered with geometric shapes in vivid colours or black. Faded garden flowers were overlaid with diagonal stripes, palm fronts with coral and black triangles. A selection of these were featured in small books placed on each invited guest’s seat, all personalised with their own name: a lovely touch and one that exemplified both Van Noten’s unprecedented attention to detail and a sense of warmth and hospitality that has characterised his twice yearly men’s and women’s presentations since his career started. Leaving no stone unturned, even the soundtrack echoed the concept, weaving together fragments from earlier shows: Max Berlin’s Elle Et Moi, Bowie’s Heroes, Ravel’s Bolero.
Working with AnOther Magazine’s creative director, Laura Genninger, fashion director Katie Shillingford and the photographer Collier Schorr, we hope to echo that level of emotion in the images published here.
“I wanted to return to a fashion family. It was about the casting, the collection and just a bare bones show” – Dries Van Noten
Hair: Jimmy Paul using Bumble and Bumble. Make-up: Mark Carrasquillo at Streeters using La Prairie. Models: Malgosia Bela at The Society Management; Hannelore Knuts at Models 1; Karly Loyce at Women Management New York; Kim Noorda at Viva London; Missy Rayder at Marilyn Agency; Guinevere Van Seenus at Next London, Alek Wek at IMG Models, Amber Witcomb at Heroes. Casting: Noah Shelley at AM Casting. Set design: Julia Wagner at CLM. Manicure: Traceylee at The Wall Group for Patty Lou Beauty. Digital tech: Jarrod Turner. First photographic assistant: PJ Spaniol III. Photographic assistants: Jeff Rose, Skyler Smith. Styling assistants: Rosie Arkell-Palmer, Kat Banas, Emily Bogner, Dominique Davenport. Hair assistants: Kisa Alexander, Evanie Frausto. Make-up assistants: Anna Muselmann, Ai Yokomizo. Set assistant: Marcs Marcus. Post-production: Two Three Two.
The Autumn/Winter 2017 issue of AnOther Magazine is on sale now.