Christian Lacroix Makes a Surprise Comeback at Dries Van Noten’s S/S20 Show

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Dries Van Noten S/S20

Dries Van Noten and Christian Lacroix presented a collaborative collection this afternoon in Paris, marking Lacroix’s first fashion designs since 2009

Christian Lacroix made a surprise return to the runway today via Dries Van Noten’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection, the result of a five-month-long collaboration between the two designers. Shown this afternoon at Paris’ Opéra Bastille, Van Noten and Lacroix appeared for a joint bow at the end of the show, posing for photos backstage together alongside models wearing their shared designs.

Roses were placed on each seat at the show, bearing the label DVN*XCLX, while flowers, feathers, ribbons, animal prints, embellishments and exuberant silhouettes appeared on the runway, in a fusion of Lacroix’s signatures and the Belgian designer’s own design language. Van Noten, it was emerged after the show, had been looking into couture of the 1980s, research that led him to the flamboyance and maximalism of Lacroix, whose work defined the fashion of the decade.

Lacroix has not designed for fashion since 2009, when his eponymous label shuttered. A Christian Lacroix brand still exists without him, since he does not own the trademark (“Even some people from my own family or friends didn’t understand what is mine or not under my name ten years since I left the couture house,” Lacroix explained to AnOther earlier this year). The French couturier has been designing costumes for the opera, ballet and theatre in his years since leaving the industry.

As Van Noten writes in a statement seen on the brand’s website after the show: “Today’s world and the political, economic and environmental climate can be divisive, exclusionary and drab, meager in a way... There is a place for powerful opulence, exaggeration and fun and I needed that energy.” For the Belgian designer, working with Lacroix on this tribute to 1980s couture was a “wish [that] came true”.