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Dries Van Noten AW15 Fur Collar Camel Coat Hooked Necklace
Backstage at Dries Van Noten AW15Photography Lea Colombo

Dries Van Noten AW15

‘I just wanted to give Paris a love story’: the designer combines seemingly disparate cultural elements into a romantic vision

TextSusie LauPhotographyLea Colombo

Initial reaction:

A study of embellishment might not sound very exciting, but in the hands of an experienced master of nuanced decoration like Dries Van Noten, the outcome is so finely tuned it becomes hard to resist. Who else would be able to see the parallels between the silver embellishment of a Miao tribe costume and the reflective stripes of a fireman’s jacket? That sort of hybridisation is exactly what Van Noten excels at, as he is completely at ease with ethnography pick-‘n’-mixing, taking inspiration from the photography of Jimmy Nelson. Layering tricks – like culottes or apron skirts over slim trousers – meant all these sartorial elements came together unexpectedly.

The soundtrack: 

A lush acoustic version of The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby”. “I just wanted to give Paris a love story,” Van Noten explained simply. It was almost like the lyrics were directed at the clothes.

Pushing the envelope: 

“We wanted to see how far we could push decoration of garments,” explained Van Noten backstage. “We looked at iconic sartorial pieces – tuxedos, uniforms, like fireman’s jackets, and even elements of punk. Then we looked at the Miao tribe from China. It was interesting to see stripes connecting from the decoration of the ethnic clothes and then the stripes on the uniforms. Then we mixed it up, so that there was enough variation so they can see what is right from them.”

The soundtrack to Dries Van Noten AW15: