“I make clothes people can wear; I don’t make art. There is no point to clothes that don’t sell.
                          Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten Garden Inspirations

Where does the spark of inspiration come from? For Dries Van Noten, the sources of inspiration seem to be as varied as the multitudes of flowers that fill his garden (both real and imagined).

The exhibition Dries Van Noten: Inspirations at the Musée Les Art Decoratifs offers a sensory immersion into the designer’s oeuvre by presenting his garments alongside a selection of objects that he has either used or linked to his work. Those objects are varied and include paintings, film, video, sculptures, as well as garments from the museum fashion archives including selections by Christian Dior, Elsa Schiaparelli, Thierry Mugler, Paul Poiret, Callot Soeurs, and Chanel.

Dries van Noten Inspirations, Gallery Shot 

The room is very dark and labelling is minimal, but is provided in both French and English.

Dries van Noten Inspirations, Gallery Shot

Some of the artworks presented in the exhibition included:

Gorden Anthony Portrait of Cecil Beaton in costume (1937)
Nick Cave  Bunny Boy video
Yves Klein Blue Venus (1966)
Elizabeth Peyton Silver Bosie (1998)
John Singer Sargent Portrait of Gabriel Faure (1889)
Kees van Dongen Portrait of Madame Jasmy Alvin (1925)
Anthony van Dyck Portrait of a Man (XVIII century)
Victor Vassely Opus III (1976)
Li Xiaofeng’s Porcelain Lacoste Polo (2010)

John Singer Sargent Painting of Gabriel Faure from 1889 in “Foppish” Gallery

The exhibit is a joyful exploration of a living designer’s work, offering visual links between inspiration and product.  It was evident to me that Dries van Noten’s garments are unique garments that are reflective of a post-modern design sensibility that dips in and out of time, mashing up imagery, silhouettes, textures and styles into a unique pastiche for the modern man and woman. 

Dries Van Noten Inspirations, Garden Gallery
Exhibition Summary: 

What: 180 garments by designer Dries Van Noten + 100 other artifacts (paintings, sculptures, videos and other objects) juxtaposed to showcase the links between inspiration and garment.

Where: Musée des Arts Decoratifs; 107 rue de Rivoli, Paris.

Curated by: Pamela Gobelin in conjunction with Dries Van Noten

Premise: Seeking connections between the garments created by Dries Van Noten and the inspirational spark that fuelled his creative process, including paintings, film, video, and the work of other designers such as Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Jeanne Lanvin, Elsa Schiaparelli, Charles Frederick Worth.

Organization: Thematic. Displays are grouped into galleries with titles like Gold, Graphic, Uniform, Foppish, Iconoclast, The Garden

Mannequins: Abstracted mannequin forms in black with no faces or hair. Many have articulated wooden arms with hands.

Displays: Behind glass cases with lighting emphasizing the forms.

When: March 1st to August 31st, 2014.

Price: 8 Euros (Advance tickets available online).