Friday, 26 September 2014

Dries Van Noten Spring 2015 - Ophelia inspired

Dries Van Noten's Spring 2015 Collection, which he showed at the Paris Fashion Week on Wednesday, was inspired by Ophelia, the Pre-Raphaelite painting by John Everett Millais and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. This was Dries at his best. If you are a lover of textiles be prepared to have your textile heart beating faster! I just knew Dries would show us something wonderful this week; it was hanging in the air, almost a tangible feeling. If I had the luxury of unlimited budget I would probably buy all the shirts, blouses and tops. Not everyone can afford designer clothes so let's hope the copycats will be inspired by Dries and we will all be wearing colours and pattern on pattern next spring. The models walked on a forest carpet, which was created specially for this show, and other Dries Van Noten events around the world, by the Argentinean artist Alexandra Kehayoglou - see a short video of the carpet in making.
If the show was a stylist's triumph, layering the infinite gorgeous possibilities of color, pattern, and weight into persuasively coherent outfits, the foundation of it all was Van Noten's roots in Antwerp, a city where merchants once brought the world's most sumptuous exotica to market. (Tim Blanks)
Van Noten also mentioned A Midsummer Night's Dream as a reference. The gossamer lightness and gilded fabrics loaned a fairy-tale element. Colors were deep and muted, as if illuminated by sunlight filtered through trees. There were dreamy intangibles, like the dresses made from tiers of chiffon floating from the thinnest straps, a twig of gold clasping the model's throat. (Tim Blanks)

Occasionally the styling was such that garments that I really liked were hidden underneath others, like the colourful and striped long blouse above.
I had to include this photo of Dries. I love that look on his face, a blend of shyness and a feeling of pride, I guess. Below you see the models sitting on the carpet after the show, before Dries stepped out.
I had to finish this post by showing you the painting, Ophelia, 1851–2, oil on canvas by Sir John Everett Millais (1829–1896), that inspired the collection, so you could see its colours and also see how they are identical to the colours of the carpet. The painting depicts a scene from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act IV, Scene vii, in which Ophelia drowns herself in a stream.
This is the display caption at Tate:
This is the drowning Ophelia from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. Picking flowers she slips and falls into a stream. Mad with grief after her father’s murder by Hamlet, her lover, she allows herself to die. The flowers she holds are symbolic: the poppy means death, daisies innocence and pansies love in vain.The painting was regarded in its day as one of the most accurate and elaborate studies of nature ever made. The background was painted from life by the Hogsmill river in Surrey. Elizabeth Siddal posed for Ophelia in a bath of water kept warm by lamps underneath.

Dries, you're the master!

photo credit:
1-14: Dries Van Noten Spring 2015 via | 15: Sir John Everett Millais, Bt, Ophelia, 1851–2, oil on canvas, Tate


  1. I read somewhere that he had to wipe a tear from his eye at the applause he received at the end of the show! Gosh, it was great. That carpet is amazing! I think my favourite would have to be those brocades- there is an 'apple' weave somewhere in the midst on a blouson jacket and longer line one also which is just magic! He is a master that Dries. Enjoy your weekend Lisa:)

    1. Helen, I bet that story is true! The show gave me goose pimples and I still haven't taken in all the details!

  2. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Dries van Noten is the designer who's made me look differently at prints, he is a master (we all agree on that :)) especially when it comes to a mélange of colours and textures. This is what fashion is about, I kept telling myself as I was viewing the collection, and just as you say, I don't even think I have taken in all the details.


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