Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Arts Decoratifs Paris: Dries Van Noten

In Paris I went to a Dries Van Noten exhibition at Arts Decoratifs. Here is an explanation of my experience:
Arts Decoratifs Paris: Dries Van Noten
“What I do is neither a photocopy or a homage. It is all about being inspired by someone else’s work and transporting it into a different setting, an operation that is subjective as it is personal,” says Dries Van Noten in his first exhibition at the Arts Decoratifs in Paris. This sentence explains his exhibit in a nutshell, it is a not to be perceived as a collection of runway looks, but a collection of inspirations. Dries Van Noten is a Belgian fashion designer that is part of The Antwerp Six, a group of influential avante-garde fashion designers who graduated from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts between 1980-1981. Noten designed ready-to-wear collections for men and women of eclective influences; he looked towards Paris and London for inspiration, as well as discovering Japanese and English fashion.

The two-floor exhibition space started with an exotic flower entrance and then transitioned into a dimly lit room where the floor and ceilings were covered in words and meanings that evoked what he was inspired by. Some of my favorites were: taxi driver, Donna Summers, fashion algebra, Superman, and disco.He wanted his audience to understand his philosophy: “the starting point of a collection can be either very literal or abstract, a painting, a certain colour, a thought, a gesture, a smell, a flower, anything really. What matters to me is the journey from the first flash of inspiration to the final destination, the individual garments, the collection.” The remaining rooms proceeded to show this journey.
Inspiration Wall
This was clever concept, because it gave you a behind the scenes look of Noten’s fashion mastermind. For example, Dries Van Noten was inspired by the vivid colour and weightlessness of butterflies; specifically he was obsessed by the disturbingly potent appeal of a butterfly as well as its fleeting existence and hint of ambiguous allure of adolescence. Included in this section of the exhibit was a dress by Elsa Schiaparelli’s ensemble du soir printemps-ete 1937, it was a butterfly printed maxi length dress with a twill black robe covering it. Then in the background a kaleidoscope graphic butterfly circular piece of art called Rapture by Damien Hirst was inserted behind the dress.
It took a fashion legend from the 1930s and a modern contemporary artist to convey what possessed him to create the Collection Homme in 2000. These types of examples carried you throughout the exhibit, and showed his multifaceted way of becoming inspired.
Overall, the exhibition was a true reflection of Dries Van Noten’s mind, it is the type of exhibition where you could visit numerous times, but still discover and learn something new about both Noten and his work. All of his inspirations showed you a private view into the life and work of this fashion designer; it satisfied the viewer, and most importantly created a dialogue with his collections. Targeted towards a curious audience, this exhibition is both fulfilling and stimulating to the mind, if given the opportunity to visit it is a must-see!  

No comments:

Post a Comment