Dries van Noten Inspirations Antwerp

We continue our stay in the beautiful city of Antwerp – after the latest A Magazine – where about a month ago the second ‘Dries van Noten Inspirations’ exhibition opened for the public in the MoMu Fashion Museum Antwerp. Last summer we wrote about the first Dries van Noten Inspirations exhibition in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and in February a new extraordinary peek in the mind of the Antwerp Six designer was completed in his hometown. In similar fashion as in Paris, Dries Van Noten takes the spectator on a new intimate journey into his artistic universe, revealing the singularity of his creative process which he illustrates with his various and numerous sources of inspiration captured in themes. One receives an eye opening experience into the creative space within van Noten’s mind – through photographs, videos, film clips, musical references, as well as artworks by renowned artists that have triggered the designer’s imagination throughout his life and career. The new exhibition shows some of the old themes from Paris, but feels like an all new exhibition, with a little more focus as the exhibition space is a little smaller – making it possibly an even more impressive fashion exhibition than our favorite of last year. 

With the success of the Paris show, it gave us the possibility to contact other museums – like Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and the National Portrait Gallery. We have really major art pieces again

In line with the exhibition in Paris, van Noten grouped each collection around a particular theme consisting of top works of art, photographs, films and videos. A 16th century Master like John Lumley is present with a painting entitled ‘Lady Margaret Wotton, Marchioness of Dorset’ – with which he not only inspired contemporary painters like Elizabeth Peyton, but also van Noten. Peyton’s own ‘Lady with an Ermine 1489-90’ is featured in the section entitled Flemish Masters. Gold too is a favorite theme in van Noten’s work and in Antwerp he acknowledges his indebtedness to a golden Peruvian death masque from the 1100’s, the incredible ‘APPOLO RAY’ of Hedi Xandt as well as Jan Pieter Antoon Verschuylen’s Rays monstrance from 1861.

Some of the other artists featured in the new exhibition are Damien Hirst (as in Paris, with his decadently beautiful ‘I Am Become Death, Shatterer of Worlds’), Yves Klein, Pablo Picasso, Cecily Brown and Pol Bury – among other stars from the art world. In the new tribute to the signature uniform, items from van Noten’s collections are placed in front of Mark Rothko’s highly impressive ‘Grey, Orange on Maroon’ – which came straight from the major retrospective in the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague – whose red stripe continues to flow in the uniform of ‘Frederick Burnaby’ by James Tissot as within the exhibited red jacket of van Noten, making it a rather perfect theme.

Make sure to see this second edition of the extraordinary exhibition and step in the highly inspirational universe of van Noten’s inspirations – it’ll be worth it.

Photography by Koen de Waal.

The exhibition will run until the 19th of July, for more information and to book tickets online see here.