Belgian designer Dries Van Noten brought hope and nostalgia with his Spring-Summer 2021 collection released today in concurrence with Paris Fashion Week.
The collection which first developed during global lockdowns combines mens and womenswear, a first for the brand, and features a range of colorful, yet clean and simplistic jackets, dresses and swimsuits. In speaking with AnOther magazine, the celebrated designer part of the ‘Antwerp 6’ explains how restrictions forced him and his creative team to think in a new, innovative way this season, “we wanted to find opportunity in limitation.”
Due to global lockdowns imposed earlier in the year, Noten explains in an interview with Forbes that “the start of the collection was made while we were all in lockdown, so we had to be at home and work by Zoom.” As a result, it was decided that “the collection had to be rather simple, rather straightforward but not boring – fresh and optimistic.”
Shot by Dutch photographer Viviane Sassen whose work “is always on [Notens] mood boards,” beaches, blue skies and saturated psychedelic projections were used as backdrops — inspired by the work of New Zealand artist Len Lye — to communicate the positivity Noten intended which worked as a refreshing contrast to today’s gloom and uncertainty. Soft pinks, greens, and blue hues complimented bold prints and geometric laser cut pieces, while bold ruffles enticed the eyes.
The fashion industry faces its own uncertainty since the pandemic which Noten has not shyed away from commenting on. He was the first designer to “co-author a public bid for change to the fashion system” writes Vogue, with Noten signing a proposal which urged a review of the fashion show format in May of this year. It also encouraged the use of digital showrooms in a bid to be more environmentally friendly.
Ultimately, Noten’s collection seeks to be an answer to “what’s going to be important in the future? Is there still going to be fashion in the future?” By highlighting fashion’s ability to adapt, evolve and digitalize in the age of coronavirus, Noten optimistically proves there is hope for a fashion’s future, though it may look significantly different to what we know now.
Images courtesy of Dries Van Noten.