The Musée des Arts Décoratifs often has fashion exhibits that are of the utmost quality. I have seen a few there, and most recently the Dries Van Noten Inspirations retrospective of his fashion design career so far. If you do attend this exhibit, may I suggest reading Dana Thomas’ portrait of the Belgian deisgner, in the Wall Street Journal first to give yourself an idea of where this artist and his style of working comes from. Thomas’ article describes an independant and hard working man who cares for every little detail of his company. He refuses to sell his company to the large groups, is not on the stock market and insists on only creating two collections a year for men and for women. This allows him more time for the creative process which is the part that he most enjoys (per Thomas’ article). An inspired designer who prefers the thrill of designing for his own brand, than the call of the wealth from the “fashion industry”. He is one of the few remaining artists who is still able to remain self sustaining and entirely inspired.
It is a beautiful display of his designs juxtaposed with his inspirations, so the viewer can understand the richness of his artistic process. I snuck some photos for you all, in spite of the sign stating that they were not allowed. 😉 A combination of articles from Van Noten’s varioous collections, items that inspired him (including fashion from other designers, accessories, traditional costumes from foreign countries, costumes from stage productions) as well as video and so much more, are peppered throughout the exhibit space, illustrating where his thought process would go in his creating of so many collections.
A career of 25 years that has been nurtured by an artistic drive and a desire to remain selective, The Dries Van Noten Inspirations exhibit is in inspiring in itself as it displays how such an authenticity in a very un authentic sector (fashion) is still possible even in today’s globalized brand-name-hungry market.
The exhibit runs throught August 31st 2014 at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 107 rue de Rivoli 75001 Paris (in between the Louvre and the Palais Royal). The normal tarif is 11euros, and the museum is open every day except Mondays (also Thrusday evenings it is open later until 9pm).
Métro : Palais-Royal, Pyramides or Tuileries