Dries Van Noten Debuts New Fashion Film

A new fashion documentary to get excited about follows the life of the elusive Belgian designer


Dries Van Noten takes a bow after his Spring 2017 menswear show. Picture / Supplied.

Off the back of his centenary fashion show in Paris last month for his Fall 2017 womenswear collection, Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten unveiled his first and highly anticipated documentary Dries at the CPH:DOX Festival this week.

The film’s world premiere was presented at the documentary festival - the world's third biggest - in conjunction with Copenhagen Fashion Week. Director Reiner Holzemer follows Dries for a year, providing an insight into the world of one of fashion's most elusive designers. Reiner captures the fascinating process Dries undergoes to create four collections a year while remaining true to his distinctive aesthetic as an independent designer - a rarity in today's fashion climate. 

WATCH: Dries Van Noten's 100th fashion show, Fall 2017

Known for his love of art references, Reiner discovers a designer unique to the current fashion landscape. “He plays an outstanding role in the fashion world. He does not advertise and nevertheless is being praised for his collections by the entire fashion press. He is not the usual fashion character who lives an exotic, dramatic or scandalous life. Always even-tempered, he is the opposite. [Nor] does he follow the trends of the fashion market (e.g. conceive more collections a year; sell more accessories, shoes, bags and perfumes than garments). These trends might be leading to more sales and margins but, most of the time, also go along with a loss in quality and creativity. And this is not what Dries wants”.

The film’s trailer showcases intimate moments with the designer, gardening and at work in his atelier where he reveals his dislike for the word fashion. “The word fashion I don’t like, because fashion means something that is over after six months. I would like to find a world that is more timeless.”

WATCH: The Dries official trailer.

Worn and loved by celebrities including Rihanna, Meryl Streep, Solange and Sarah Jessica Parker, the label’s cult following is in contrast with the designer’s preference to shirk the limelight. “It took three years for the designer to agree on my proposal," explains Reiner. "He was cautious. Patience brought its reward. We met a few times and discussed the way I work, my hopes for the film.”

Celebrating his milestone show in Paris in February, it features a coterie of familiar female faces who have featured in the brand's shows and imagery over the years including Alek Wek, Amber Valetta, Sasha Pivovarova, Trish Goff, Liya Kebede, Caroline de Maigret and more.

Beginning last week, the designer shared the first of his '100 Days' project on the label's website. This celebrates its rich archives by posting a video of previous shows every day for 100 days. The collections are a highlight every season on the Paris Fashion Week calendar. 

Dries is scheduled for general release later in the year.

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