A friend recently recommended that I watch the documentary about Dries Van Noten. I watched it and I loved it…as he predicted.
I didn’t know a lot about Dries as a designer, other than owning a gorgeous dense black wool jumper by him. I tried to find it for this blog post…and couldn’t. Who knows what I’ve done with that, I’m sure it will turn up.
“I think we need to invent a new word for fashion. Something more timeless.”
He said this near the start of the documentary and I couldn’t agree more. I cringe when I tell people that I’m a fashion blogger. Not just because usually when I find myself in that situation, I won’t always be looking my best (it’s similar that feeling when you accidentally bump into your ex, you’re rarely looking your hottest…sod’s law)….but mainly because fashion feels so throwaway these days. It feels faddy. It feels a little silly.
Fashion can, most definitely, be silly. But, it can mean so much more. It has the power to transform how we are feeling, we can use it as a ‘suit of armour’ to see us through difficult times…or to show how playful we’re feeling that day. I most definitely dress based on how I’m feeling. I’m a fairly emotional person, yet also can be very controlled (oxymoronic, I know. I can be a pain). This often comes through in what I’m wearing; zig zagging between black, minimal and elegant…..to laid back comfort….to fun, punky and full of attitude. That’s the fun of fashion, for me.
Maybe we need a new word that encompasses what fashion is meant to be, rather than the micro-trendy lightning fast feeling it has today.
As those thoughts stayed in my mind, I continued to watch the beautiful film as it went behind the scenes of the designer’s process and a little of his home life. The music was expertly designed to match the feeling and the mood of what you were watching. Sometimes this, for me, can be where a good film can fall a little flat…but with Dries, a slightly melancholy (almost fragile) atmosphere continued throughout, which captured my attention and on occasion made my skin tingle.
My own personal style isn’t very close to that of Dries Van Noten, but I sat transfixed at his talent and his ability to expertly layer fabrics and create beautiful silhouettes. I love his ability to clash prints. That’s a real weakness of mine, the thought of wearing clashing patterns literally terrifies me…yet, I love it when he does it. Clashing came through as a theme for me overall in the film. That 2016 show with the gorgeous embroidery set to the atonal string quartet was very powerful. I almost couldn’t listen to the music because it was setting me so on edge, but the clothing was so utterly beautiful in contrast.
All of his shows had a subtle grandeur I felt. Lots of contrasts. Very well thought out.
I won’t give anything else away about the film. I’d highly recommend watching – you can rent it on Amazon.
It made me think lots about why I love fashion so much, maybe it will do the same for you.