Paris Fashion Week: Dries Van Noten takes a bow with a final masterful collection

Throughout his career, Van Noten seamlessly blended menswear, his starting point, with womenswear added later
In frame: Pieces from the collection
In frame: Pieces from the collection

Fashion lost a legend this weekend as Dries Van Noten presented his final collection at the helm of his namesake brand. “It’s time to leave room for a new generation,” the designer said in a statement earlier this year, marking the end of an era for the Antwerp Six member.

In frame: Pieces from the collection
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The show, held in a Parisian warehouse, was a journey through Van’s illustrious career. Hundreds of guests witnessed a central cube installation showcasing iconic pieces from his past collections. Opening and closing coats, a signature for the ‘Flemish master of fashion,’ bookended the presentation, highlighting his love for technical fabrics.

Van's signature layering and floral prints were ever-present, alongside a new emphasis on transparency. Navy, browns, greens, and timeless black dominated the runway, a nod to the Antwerp Six’s influence alongside Japanese designers who revolutionized European fashion in the 80s.

The 150th collection for the House transcended time, offering contemporary elegance with embroidered tops, oversized shorts, and military-inspired jackets. Inspired by Belgian artist Edith Dekyndt, Van Noten employed Japanese ‘floating ink’ techniques on bomber jackets and blazers, breathing new life into familiar garments. Ordinary tank tops gleamed in purple velour, while knee-length trenches transformed into luxurious organza creations.

Neutral hues gave way to bold pastels on mohair coats and chunky cardigans. The show concluded with Van’s signature floral prints adorning crinkled polyamide looks. As the runway emptied, a thunderous ovation erupted, with tears welling in the eyes of some. Van, waving to the crowd, took his final bow - a true fashion legend saying goodbye.

In frame: Pieces from the collection
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Dries Van Noten
Dries Van Noten

The collection, featuring a standout pink transparent trench coat, celebrated inclusivity with models of various ages. Throughout his career, Van Noten seamlessly blended menswear, his starting point, with womenswear added later. Unlike a retrospective, this was a new chapter, a fitting farewell for a man who consistently surprised and delighted. Designers like Diane Von Furstenberg and Ann Demeulemeester were among those who stood and applauded, a testament to Van’s enduring impact.

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