Playing around with an almost impossible combination that somehow just makes sense
Dries van Noten’s Fall 2022 – where do we start with this one? The location? The inspiration? The beauty line? The exhibition? Maybe just the title!
“Nostalgia del Futuro” (Nostalgia of the Future) is pulling from classic van Noten here, that being, playing around with an almost impossible combination that somehow just makes sense! Explaining this, he cites how the inspiration for this concept came from the one and only Marcel Proust; “Proust said that a true paradise is a lost paradise. But what about those dreams of paradise that we have not yet encountered because, perhaps, they await us in the future?” And if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the uncertainty of the future. Nostalgia of the Future as a phrase alone feels like a pretty accurate description of this feeling.
Despite wanting to have a runway show – and he assures us, he will be back – the teams thought it best that this amazing exhibition happened instead. Taking place in the dilapidated Parisian mansion, the Hotel de Guise, the show interestingly had no live models. Instead, mannequins are positioned around the house in active poses, making it feel like time has froze. The house has a unique feel to it, the worn down environment stands in stark contrast with the clean cut looks. What adds to the oddity is the smell – yes the smell. The exhibition also debuts van Noten’s first ever beauty line including their stand out fragrances which perfumed the house. Van Noten really did it with this presentation, illustrating the creative possibilities for alternative fashion shows.
So the clothes. We have so much to say about the clothes. Perhaps the most important reference which van Noten himself explicitly commented on, is the Carlo Mollino Polaroid inspiration. Carlo Mollino was an architect and photographer and upon his death in the early 1970s, erotic polaroids of women were found in his apartment. The looks from these women are the inspiration behind the lace-up boots and leather chokers. But van Noten’s collection is not about skimp, his collection takes the powerful spirit from the women and translates them into his clothes. Continuing with the ‘70s theme, there’s not only lots of classic shapes from the ‘70s but also a noticeable amount of animal print. While people from all walks of life were sporting animal prints back then, it acted as a symbol of daring femininity for women rockstars like Blondie.
The references to the past don’t make the collection feel retro whatsoever. The collection maintains its contemporary feel. A definite highlight for us is the large circular puffer coat with a high collar that feels classic in shape yet new with the material. On the topic of jackets, we have to mention the Charles James puffer reference he makes – the designer who designed the first puffer in 1937. Also highly deserving of a mention is the long disco-esk jacket paired with jeans and a feather shawl.
Overall, the exhibition and collection are a beautiful manifestation of the philosophy and talent of van Noten.