We highly recommend the inspirational exhibition ‘Dries Van Noten Inspirations’ in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris after visiting it last weekend. It is the very first exhibition devoted to the artist’s work and the broad field of inspirational sources for the designer of the Antwerp Six, making it an multidisciplinary feast for the senses. Dries Van Noten takes the spectator on an intimate journey into his artistic universe, revealing the singularity of his creative process which he illustrates with his various and numerous sources of inspiration. One receives an eye opening experience into the space within van Noten’s mind or rather soul, bringing together the designer’s men’s and women’s collections with iconic pieces from the museum’s fashion and textile collection. The show also includes photographs and videos, film clips, musical references, as well as artworks by renowned artists, from public and private collections, that have triggered the designer’s imagination throughout his life and career, making it one of the more extraordinary fashion exhibitions created till date.
When entering this world of inspirational sources for van Noten one is taken all over in space and time; from the Renaissance’s ‘chambers of wonder’ or ‘curiosity cabinets’ in which collectors amassed memorabilia and souvenirs, to selected anonymous 19th century pieces and works by emblematic couturiers such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Christian Dior. Everything is brought together to portray larger meta-subject matters such as youth, the archetype, ambiguity and passion, and theme’s more on a microlevel like punk and dandyism, highlighting van Noten’s ‘signature’ themes which are directly observable in all his work.
Because of exceptional loans, exclusive to this particular exhibitions, masterpieces by important artists such as Bronzino, Kees Van Dongen, Yves Klein, Victor Vasarely, Francis Bacon, Elizabeth Peyton and Damien Hirst are on display in each section of the show. Major films, including Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange and Jane Campion’s The Piano, are also part of the event.
And finally a fascinating detail which becomes apparent at the end of the exhibition, is the fact that as a result of Dries Van Noten’s close collaboration with the Arts Decoratifs Museum, the designer actually used several 19th century textile patterns which he found while researching for the exhibition in his 2014 men’s and women’s Spring/Summer ready-to-wear collections that he unveiled in Paris in June and September 2013.
Make sure to see this extraordinary exhibition before it’s too late!
All images courtesy of Les Arts Décoratifs, Musée de la mode et du textile and shot by Luc Boegly.
The exhibition will run until the 31st of August, for more information and to book tickets online see here.