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Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten’s Final Collection Shines in Paris

The designer Dries Van Noten revealed his last fashion show yesterday in Paris, showing a suite of new garments and accessories centering time and craft.

In 1986, Dries Van Noten followed in the footsteps of two generations of tailors by exploring the world of fashion. For his debut, the Belgian fashion designer showed a collection during London Fashion Week out of a rented truck with the help of other Royal Academy graduates from Antwerp, filled with garments and accessories that sparked his label’s start.

“There was a certain logic to my choice, as my family had been involved in fashion and the garment business for generations. My father created one of Belgium’s most innovative retailers of ‘pret-a-porter’ and my grandfather was a tailor. I inherited my love of garment making, its traditions and rituals, from these men and my mother,” the designer stated on his website. “Family immersed me in the craft and skill of fabrics, impassioned me with the power of flair and style for women and men that fired my quest to explore and question the subjectivity of ‘beauty’ and the role it would play in my life.”

Dries Van Noten’s 150 Collections

Dries Van Noten Courtesy of Dries Van Noten.

In the 38 years since, his devotion to this form of beauty has unfolded distinctly, searing his name into fashion’s lexicon with an emphasis on innovative design, material construction, and rich textures. Bold patterns and prints, ethically-made fabrications, avant-garde designs, and more followed. 

Last night in Paris, his 150th collection was presented as his last. Three months ago, Van Noten announced his departure in a statement saying he wanted to shift his “focus to the things that I never had time for” like gardening, and that Spring/Summer 2025 would be his finale. As the world was reminded last night, the legacy he leaves behind is more than a brand. It is a distinct mark on the craft of fashion design and expression at large.

Inspired by Time and Art by Edith Dekyndt

With Spring/Summer 2025, we witnessed the last chapter of the designer’s magic unfold, embedded with meaningful storytelling and time. The contemporary Belgian artist Edith Dekyndt—who in her work considers time and transforms everyday objects into transparent vitrines to show its effects—provided ample inspiration to Van Noten. Ideas of dressing evolved over this timeline from classic to innovative, joining techniques, materials, and styles that transformed with each body. 

On a runway topped with tiny shreds of silver paper, models from some of the designer’s earliest presentations joined first-timers—including Alain Gossuin, Rokas Kavaliauskas, Josef Ptacek, Debra Shaw, Eugene Khmara, Craig Shimirimana, Kristina de Coninck, John Armstrong, Leonard Kipker, Malgosia Bela, Charles Bigear, Alpha Dia, Junyeong Baek, Hamin Yu, and Douta Sibide—further elaborating the notion of time.

Dries Van Noten Spring/Summer 2025

Dries Van Noten Courtesy of Dries Van Noten.
Dries Van Noten Courtesy of Dries Van Noten.

On the models were new pieces that reflected the elegance of today. Slightly structured garments embodied elongated silhouettes and sartorial styles, like single- and double-breasted suits and coats. Other flowy items—including organza tops and pants, high-waisted trousers, and cargo pants—were complemented by dark belts and layers to define each body’s unique shape.

Nuanced materials, a Van Noten signature, appeared with a lived-in texture. Heavy and Irish cotton, wool linen, and herringbone were reworked with technical manipulations to become hybrid fabrications, like wool bonded to scuba and parachute cotton with silk pongee. The mash-up provided a play on texture and visual appeal, combining sheer with matte, making crinkled polyamide look like glass, and creating a one-sided foil material that appears to shift between silver and gold. 

Utilizing Suminagashi for Patterns

Dries Van Noten Courtesy of Dries Van Noten.
Dries Van Noten Courtesy of Dries Van Noten.

Special for the collection, as well, was the use of suminagashi—a traditional Japanese marbling technique that is over 1,000 years old. Involving an ink pattern atop water, it is transferred to and absorbed by the fabric underneath. Van Noten’s last collection also embodied the Japanese word for fireworks, “hanabi,” which combines “flower” and “fire” and showed outlines of large flowers and leaves like fireworks illuminating the sky. 

A monochromatic color palette carried the styles through shades of navy, black, and cement, with a collection of saturated hues—like pink-olive-burgundy and black-purple-pink—drawing the eye in, too. Peach, lime, and rust-colored pieces also appeared, with some lightly appearing on transparent fabrics and others revealed through a spray paint effect. From the runway, we especially loved Van Noten’s cross-strap sandals, oversized bags, and sheer tops worn over suit jackets with knee-length shorts. After the show, Van Noten and his strongest supporters danced under a disco ball until late.

Dries Van Noten’s Legacy

“This is my 129th show. Like the previous ones, it looks ahead. Tonight is many things, but it is not a grand finale,” Van Noten stated in his show notes. “I think about how Marcelo Mastroianni once spoke of a paradoxical ‘Nostalgia del futuro,’ beyond the lost paradises imagined by Proust, and how we continue to pursue our dreams knowing that, at some point, we can look back on them with love. I love my job, I love doing fashion shows, and sharing fashion with people. Creating is about leaving something that lives on. My sense of this moment is how it is not only mine, but ours, always.”

Dries Van Noten Courtesy of Dries Van Noten.

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