Dancing with Dries Van Noten: Fall 2021 Collection

vor 3 years

Red Roses & Passion
Dancing, Nostalgia

The Dries Van Noten Fall 2021 collection has moved the Fräulein team. We share some of our thoughts on the beautiful fashion film we have played time and time again…

Are there enough synonyms of the word ‘poetic’ to get the point across of what we just viewed? Complete allure. Is that not missing from fashion? In too many collections this season, the soft has gone hard. The poetic has gone under a microscope. The feminine has gotten a bit too stiff, or on the flipside, fairly formless. And yet here we have a rotating cast of models and dancers and icons, moving and being moved in their clothing. presented to Massive Attack in the darkness of Antwerp’s underground nightlife.

Such a cast. Such strong looks. The soundtrack! The roses! The opening walk out seemed like it should have been the last, but only if we were giving standing ovation to a trope of dancers in a theater. The bundle of flowers is seen throughout the collection.

The film, by director Casper Sejersen, is six minutes of condensed emotion. There is longing and desperation in how the cast moves. There is a sense of loneliness: models hugging and touching themselves, reacquainting themselves with contact. With touch. With love and tender caress and passion. The things we had with others, no more. This normalization of social distancing makes us that more vulnerable to what we see and feel. What is now more intimate to us than our own clothing? Should we not bestow roses to our garments? Should we not graze and emblazon ourselves with leather gloves?

The color palette is composed mostly of neutral colours and pops of red. For Dries, known for his loud usage of shimmery velvets and Indian Madras patterns, this is as close to a minimalist statement as he will make. In a time where designers are using colours and sequins more than ever to instill some joy into the world, Dries actually tones it down!

In true Antwerp tradition, the trends coming from Paris are rejected outright by Belgian designers who bring another view to the centerstage. Don’t be fooled by the chicness of ostrich-trimmed skirts, by the furry pullovers, nor by the elegance of satin dresses… a true punk spirit resides in this collection, especially the ones painted upon: timeless and freed from trends. He’s allowing the spirit to move him. We, in return, are moved.

Oversized cuts, low-rise trousers, big white buttonups, and denim abounds. You guessed it; Dries Van Noten wants to bring us back to the 90’s, the era of emergence of Dries himself and the Antwerp Six. Through this collection, Dries has cycled us back to the roots of his artistic work, reinterpreted. And why not? That was a sexy time in all its grit. Rough around the edges. We’re all feeling a little disheveled these days.

We dearly miss the ambiance of physical shows and the endless ballet of models wearing the most delicious of couture in front of us, but this film made us forget briefly of this loss, and we find ourselves revisiting the magic again and again, dancing with him ourselves. We now only need the roses, Mr. Van Noten. We’ve already prepared our gloves.

Text by Marien Brandon and Janna Shaw
All images courtesy of Dries Van Noten

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