Antwerp day out

SS22: Dries Van Noten and his team took us on a day out in Antwerp
Fashion | 25 June 2021

““We wanna be free, we wanna be free to do what we wanna do. And we wanna get loaded.” Today, the words of Peter Fonda in The Wild Angels, sampled by Primal Scream and Andrew Weatherall in their 1990 Screamadelica track are more Loaded than ever. Providing the sonic beat to Dries Van Noten’s SS22 filmic presentation, as the Scream did their thing, the Belgian designer did his. Backdropped by 56 different locations around Antwerp, Van Noten and his team schlepped a podium around the city, where models would stand as members of the public passsed by – see look 6 for a great school trip photo. These heartwarming visuals gave the appearance of models wandering in and out of memories.

The show notes spoke of this being “an emotionally charged and intimate homage to a life of carefree fun and freedom in the city,” and “A visceral outburst of energy, an expression of and response to the frustration and limitations of being stuck in Antwerp.” Antwerp, incase you didn’t know, is where Dries and his team are based, in a vast warehouse overlooking the city’s iconic bay. So they could see, hear and smell freedom yet not physically embrace it. So instead, they focused in on Antwerp, splicing its eras and icons – through past, present and beyond.

During lockdown, Dries asked his design team to collect pre-pandemic photos and videos taken around Antwerp, from shipyard cranes to neon-lit bars, these images were turned into prints throughout the collection – “a love of the city’s architecture in all its facets, the good, the bad and the ugly.” The city’s artistic history manifested across prints by renowned Antwerp painters Reubens and Brueghel alongside a geometric print featuring an ‘A’ city seal designed by J van den Bouwhuysen in the 70s.

In hyper-saturated tones, loose cuts and 200-gram silk suiting, the Dries Van Noten man had a cool ease about him, in lightweight windbreakers, beach shorts, slides and louche shirting that you could totally picture Bobby Gillespie rocking as the singer’s vocals filtered into the soundtrack mix right on cue.

Like Fonda, like Van Noten: “We want to be free to do what we want to do!… And we want to get loaded! And we want to have a good time! And that’s what we’re gonna do!”

GALLERYCatwalk looks from this show