Best Of 2017: Dries Van Noten’s Greatest Hits
Michele Hicks, Esther de Jong, Élise Crombez, Trish Goff, Kristina de Coninck, Kirsten Owen, Debra Shaw – in total, 56 models of then and now came together on the same catwalk in Paris to celebrate Belgian designer Dries Van Noten’s 100th show. It was, as people often say but rarely mean it, “a moment”. A lot of people cried. A lot of people said they were “getting out their old Dries because he’s the best designer who has ever lived”, because he’s “so consistent” and “really knows what women want”. What’s great, too, is that older women – comparatively speaking, of course; models are usually 12 or something – those in their thirties, forties and fifties, are far more interesting to look at. They, or rather their faces, have so much more to say. What can you learn from a teenager anyway? They’ve not lived enough! That show, by the way, must have been a organisational nightmare, but Van Noten and his team looked through the decades of past shows and picked the models he felt embodied each collection. The tops with the prints are vintage prints layered over with newer ones and reissued to mark the occasion. Despite the backward-looking theme, the mix of ages of models felt extremely forward thinking. We all felt propelled somewhere else. Somewhere beautiful that celebrated all women.
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans