For Inspirations, the first exhibition devoted to his nearly 30-year career, Dries Van Noten looked back on decades of influences, handpicked more than 400 garments and objects, and arranged them just so at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris last year. Now, that very retrospective is being recreated inside MoMu (Antwerp’s Fashion Museum), opening this Friday.
The sprawling new exhibition will again offer a stunning glimpse into the creative process of one of fashion’s most fertile minds. The core of the show remains visually dense grouped themes — e.g. gold, butterflies, Francis Bacon, punk, uniforms, marble, Bollywood — that will now include several new themes, among them Pierre Balmain, Elizabeth Peyton, and Ryan McGinley. Looks from past collections are juxtaposed with film clips or significant artworks lent by other museums, among them pieces by Pablo Picasso, Agnolo Bronzino, and Damien Hirst. As before, the walls and ceiling will spell out Van Noten’s far-flung references, from obscure arias and the now-defunct French fashion magazine Le Jardin des Modes to the films E.T. and Desperately Seeking Susan.
The carefully considered effect is not unlike a cabinet of curiosities, tapping into historical, ethnic, cinematic, and musical references. As such, the show merges fashion design with the world of fine art, illustrating the Belgian designer’s unparalleled artistic vision.
Dires Van Noten: Inspirations, February 13 – July 19, 2015, MoMu