For A/W 22, Dries Van Noten is levying the power of nostalgia to lend an added weight to his polished, contemporary line.
At 72 Rue de l’Université in Paris stands a centuries-old mansion.
Known in a past life as the Hotel de Guise, the now dilapidated manor’s elegance can only be recognized through the hints of its interior’s survived intricate detailing as well as opulent materials and exquisite construction.
But upon seeing these clues – hiding in plain sight – viewers can feel themselves brought back to the far-gone 18th century heyday of this lavish maison.
The sight creates a form of nostalgia stemming from the romantic glimpse of a Paris lost to history.
It is in this nostalgic realm that we find a backdrop for Dries Van Noten’s Autumn/Winter Collection.
Avoiding the runway for health safety concerns, Dries opted to exhibit this new line within the Hotel de Guise.
For the lookbook, Dries took inspiration from the mysterious Italian architect and designer turned renaissance man, Carlo Mollino.
In Mollino’s clandestine hideaway in the center of Turin, Italy, a collection of polaroids were found which featured sensuous female portraits posed against the extravagant settings of the artist’s two homes.
Taking lead from this influence, Dries chose to visually reference these portraits taken in vintage, luxurious interiors, while replacing Mollino’s erotic slant for one of female strength and empowerment.
Draped in this line’s lush, sometimes decadent designs of animal print as well as ornate china patterns and a number of other fantastic motifs, the models are placed in powerful poses, starkly contrasting the aged, decaying interiors of Hotel de Guise.
Adding to the nostalgic themes, the models were photographed alongside the mansion’s antique decorations and CRT televisions displaying low resolution images of their faces veiled by the grain and noise of VCR-like static.
To substitute a conventional runway show, Dries used the rooms and halls of the Hotel de Guise to exhibit cinched silhouettes and sophisticated arrangements, generously applied with indulgent designs and ornamentation, on mannequins, either faceless and shrouded in dyed patterns or adorned with eye-popping and lip-defining makeup.
In addition to the clothing line, Dries chose to present his new fragrance collection – a long-awaited reveal since his brand’s acquisition by perfume and fashion company Puig.
These fragrances, inspired by Dries’ skill of pairing contrasting colors in his clothing designs, exhibit expertly clashing scents such as mint and iris as well as packaging the perfumes in unique material combinations such as wood and glass.
Nostalgia del Futuro serves as an example of Dries Van Noten’s ability to reference, repurpose and recontextualize visuals, designs and motifs from the past and employ them in a contemporary style without losing the romantic visions surrounding those ideas.
We can only speculate as to what nostalgic histories Dries will take us to in the future.
Take a look behind the scenes to see Dries and his team creating the Nostalgia del Futuro images in this short piece by Dries Van Noten
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