Why everybody is talking about Dries Van Noten’s 100th show
A crash course in falling in love with print
Let’s start with the obvious. 100. A nice, full number that looks as good above Gandhi’s visage as it does on cricketing stats. That Dries Van Noten — the hero of the Antwerp Six — has survived the onslaught of 100 shows while still seeming like a fresh discovery is a testament to the designer’s ability to excite and delight like few others.
It’s hard to please an Indian with spectacles of print and colour, we roll our eyes and point lazily in the direction of our grandmother’s sari cupboards. But Dries has always been up to the challenge, bending light and darkness into shades that the eye must pause to truly understand, pouring them into prints that usually occur on LSD-fuelled excursions of the mind.
For his 100th show, not only did Dries revive his favourite prints from over the past three decades, he called on generations of powerful muses to put them on display. Alek Wek, 39, strode out in a manically printed midi dress, while 43-year-old Amber Valletta, enveloped in iridescence, could barely keep the smile off her face. From the current crop, Julia Nobis, Hanne Gaby Odiele and Yumi Lambert lent their distinctly individual beauty to the yin-meets-yang collection.
Words fail a Dries show. You always have to see, feel, touch to appreciate how the quietest designer can consistently offer up the liveliest collection. Thank you for your genius, Dries.