Saturday, 27 August 2011

dries van noten - het modepaleis

In July I posted quite a dose of Dries Van Noten runway photos and said I would photograph his Antwerp shop on Nationalestraat street. So, yesterday I grabbed my camera with me when we went to the city centre (Amsterdam will have to wait until the weather gets better). First we enjoyed Italian food and rosé and then we took a stroll around the Groenplaats square area. Dries Van Noten is close by, in a beautiful building called Het Modepaleis (English: the fashion palace). Maybe one day I'll ask them if I can photograph inside.

I found this video online, a short interview with Dries Van Noten, but let's use the biography on his website to get to know him better:

"Born in Antwerp in 1958, Dries Van Noten is the third generation in a family of tailors. Between the two world wars, his grandfather reworked second-hand clothes by turning them inside out and introduced Antwerp to the concept of ready-to-wear. In 1970 Dries’ father opened a large upscale fashion boutique in the outskirts of Antwerp followed by a second outlet in the city centre where he sold collections by Ungaro, Ferragamo and Zegna. At the same time, his mother ran a Cassandre franchised store and collected antique lace and linen."

He was just a boy when he started attending fashion shows with his father. In 1976, when he was 18, he entered the fashion design course of Antwerp’s Royal Academy. With his studies he worked as a freelance designer. "The same year he met Christine Mathys who would be his business partner and tireless champion until her death in 1999."

He continued working freelance after graduating and launched his own line in 1986 with success.

"In September of the same year, [he] opened a tiny eponymous boutique in Antwerp’s gallery arcade. Here he sold his men’s and women’s collections, which were initially made from the same fabrics."

"In 1989, he quit his modest boutique for a five-storey former department store in the Nationalestraat, then a down-at-heel district with little promise. Ironically, this listed historical building had once housed his grandfather’s greatest competitor. Van Noten set about restoring it, retaining many of the original fixtures and fittings, including the name Het Modepaleis. Today the area is noted for its upmarket boutiques." And let me add, as you can see from the photos, the building is beautiful.

Dries Van Noten has a warehouse on Godefriduskaai quay in Antwerp, which houses the showroom and the departments of design, marketing, production, etc.

And finally, something that caught my attention and I really liked: "Dries Van Noten has been entirely self-financed since the beginning of his career."

Dries Van Noten, Het Modepaleis
Nationalestraat 16, 2000 Antwerpen
tel: +32 3 470 25 10

photo credit:
Het Modepaleis: Lisa Hjalt / LatteLisa
photo of Dries Van Noten himself via Jones Arnhem


  1. Love the pics and the info! :-)

  2. yes. this building is just so wonderful! and the story ...and it cought my attention too : )

  3. I must admit - I know nothing about fashion or designers. Although, he does sound like an amazing designer. What I do love is architecture, and that building is amazing!!!! The details and the ironwork - I could photograph that all day.

    Looks like you live in a truly beautiful place. Hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend!!

  4. Oh thank you so much for the story and beautiful photos!!! I really admire DvN designs, every detail is so precious.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend, darling!

  5. That building is just incredible! You take such beautiful photos, Lisa. And I'm a big fan of Dries Van Noten.

    Enjoy your weekend! xoxo

  6. How lovely your pictures are! I live in that area of the city and I used to be a lecturer at KdG, opposite his shop. My students and I would sometimes just spend time looking out of the window when they were changing the windows, instead of focusing on English linguistics! I always thought a bit of beauty was just as good for their education! :-) Van Noten now lives in a magnificent house in Lier with beautiful grounds. There was an article on it in US Vogue earlier this year.

    Speaking of US Vogue: the IMS shop let me know the September issue should be in their shop this week! Yay!

    x E.

  7. @E: I wouldn't have minded being a student in your class ;-) Pretty sure a dose of that beauty didn't do any harm to your students.

    I better look up that article. I never buy Vogue US except the September issue, which still hadn't arrived at the IMS shop when I checked yesterday.

  8. Not only did he have a great sense of fashion, but finances as well! Impressive :)

  9. What a stunning building...lovely photo's as always Lisa.

  10. That is a fabulous old building... what a beautiful setting to showcase such beautiful workmanship and designs. I've been in love with Dries Van Noten clothing ever since I visited Europe years and years ago (1994)?...the fabric, the prints, the styling - all fabulous and unique.

  11. What a beautiful building (it must be the photographer's credit too)! Thank you for the story, Lisa. xo

  12. Gorgeous pics Lisa, the store looks incredible! xx

  13. Looks nice and very expensive - we want pictures from inside ;o)))
    Have a nice sunday ;o)

  14. Wow, what a beautiful building, great pics Lisa! And thanks for all your lovely comments!xx


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