Lost in music

Dries Van Noten FW21
Fashion | 3 March 2021

“Emotion” and “movement” – the two words Dries Van Noten imparted to his team before designing the FW21 collection. For a while, the Belgian designer had been seeking to steer away from the staid format of runway shows. Unusual global circumstances helped move him toward something more authentic to his vision.

The field of contemporary dance is one of Van Noten’s passions, and he cites the radical performances of Pina Bausch circa 1980s as a creative influence. 46 dancers and models were choreographed “moving” in the new collection, for want of a better word. Staged at Antwerp’s Single stage, it was shot by Casper Sejersen – you might be familiar from his cinema posters for Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac. Bodies contorted in dance, the film conveyed a similar primal ecstasy to the poster shots, teetering a visceral line of repression and freedom, agitation and euphoria.

The clothes ticked every box of colours and textures that look good in movement. There were marabou feathers, sequins, liquid silk and a fur of glittering fringe. It sounds disco, but rendered in Van Noten’s clean lines, the effect was far more abstract. Speaking to his original intent, these weren’t dancers, but emotions in motion.

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