Top image: Backstage at Dries Van Noten FW16 menswear. Photography Raffaele Cariou.
For renowned designer Dries Van Noten, his FW17 womenswear show was pretty major. Marking his 100th collection, the Belgian designer celebrated his milestone by delving into his archive and mining past prints, models and music for an epic show worthy of the occasion.
Now comes a special retrospective book documenting all of those 100 collections, from his beginnings to present. Split into two volumes, the book features mostly never before published pictures detailing everything from the runway to the backstage, from the invitations to the scenography and unusual venues.
Texts written by journalists Susannah Frankel (women’s) and Tim Blanks (men’s) accompany each show, dissecting the inspirations, creative references and context of each collection.
“I like the idea that this commemorates my past so that I may just focus on the future and further evolving as a designer from now,” says Van Noten. “I originally published a book to commemorate my 50th show and so it came naturally to also do so for the 100th.”
One of the Antwerp Six, Dries founded his eponymous label in 1986. Since then, the third-generation designer has weaved together a rich, textured tapestry of eclectic and highly personal references to create a prolific and instantly recognisable oeuvre. It is through his signature relaxed silhouettes and technical feats of construction (and deconstruction) that Dries has cemented his place as one of the most inimitable designers of his generation.
Renowned for his experiential take on fashion, from his shows (at his women’s SS15 show he had models recline on an incredible grass-like tapestry, instead of walk down a runway) to the rich prints and fabrics that are a constant in his collections, tracing his love for cross-cultural history and tradition, this anniversary tome is a fitting tribute to his romantic and holistic approach to his collections.
“The 100th show itself was a celebration and I wanted to make it last. This is really one work in two volumes,” says the designer. “The first fifty shows in the first one and shows 51-100 in the second one. It is exciting having all the shows in this special object, being able to remember, read and understand the context and inspiration of a show through texts and pictures, not only about the show itself but also on everything surrounding it.”
The book will be published by Lannoo Publishers and will be available worldwide from 1st October 2017, and will also be released in a limited-edition slipcase.