Dries Van Noten

The DRG Antwerp shopping guide



T Koetshuish Antweerp vintage store

I had a very naughty start to the year, choosing to bunk off LCM and go on holiday instead. Tsk indeed! I definitely recommend it though. We picked Antwerp for our city break, our flight was half empty and the three days dawdled by at a pleasantly snail-like pace. We went with no great plans other than to mooch around flea markets, eat moules and just enjoy some we-time. OK, we didn’t have much luck on the flea market front but I did discover a wealth of brocante vendors, vintage boutiques and fancy goods emporia to satisfy my shopaholic tendencies. Here then, is my DRG shopping guide to Antwerp…

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I advise catching the early Friday flight from City airport so you arrive with a whole day stretched out ahead. Taxis are a bit of a faff in Antwerp so we decided to do everything on foot, taking the scenic route from our posh B&B (the beautiful BOULEVARD LEOPOLD, separate post coming soon) in the Jewish quarter. (more…)



Retail report: Selfridges ramps up its luxury ready-to-wear with a nod to Dover Street Market



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It feels like Selfridges has been tweaking its third floor Designer Galleries for ever! Finally its finished and the verdict is quite the A-Z of modern luxury fashion. In short, the Selfridges buy has been Dover Street Market-ified. (And  that sentence right there gets the award for clunkiest sentence of the year. Soz.) I still remember the third floor as it was eons ago – contemporary labels like Anglomania alongside A.P.C, Whistles and Joseph. Pffft, this is so not that. Contemporary and denim have all been shunted up to the fourth floor, leaving gleaming aisles of expensive statement-wear. Of course, I can’t actually afford any of it.

It’s a textbook exercise in taste and wealth though. (more…)



Paris Fashion Week: Dries Van Noten’s eclectic inspirations



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Sorry PRs but my big highlight of Paris Fashion Week wasn’t the shows or the parties but the new exhibition, Dries Van Noten: Inspirations. Showing at the Arts Decoratifs Museum until 31st August, Dries Van Noten and curator Pamela Golbin have coincidentally created an assemblage of exhibits that encompasses a number of my own favourite themes.

Downstairs is big on the foppish overlaps of masculinity and femininity, the romance of youth subcultures and a fascination with British monarchy and society. As you enter the exhibition through Azuma Makoto’s giant floral fantasia, you’re greeted by a room wallpapered with pop culture references. From camp Divine posters to Interview magazine covers, these are easily recognisable to anyone who grew up in the 80s. Dries Van Noten’s early designs from his student days at the Antwerp Royal Academy (his 1981 sun motif coat looks especially contemporary) sit alongside influential pieces by Kenzo, Mugler, Versace and Worlds End-era Westwood, culled from the museum’s own archive.

The subsequent vitrines are grouped in themes such as ‘Iconclast’, ‘Graphic’ and ‘Butterflies’ and display seemingly disparate items – a film clip, artwork or ancient textile piece – alongside examples from a chosen Dries Van Noten collection, to demonstrate his creative through process. It’s funny to think this is the first time a designer exhibition (it’s not billed as a retrospective) has been presented this way because it really makes a lot of sense in revealing the common passions and aesthetics of the brand and the man. (more…)



Dries van Noten – up close



Dries van Noten store in Paris

I’m in Paris for a few days to do some shows, some re-sees, some window shopping and hopefully to get a first look at the Dries Van Noten exhibition. To prep myself I swung by the Dries shop in Quai Malaquais. I managed to take a sneaky photo – isn’t it gorgeous? (more…)