Photocards from Antwerp. The fashion capital of Dries Van Noten

Antwerp is the capital of northern European fashion and a city of culture, amidst art giants like Sir Pieter Paul Rubens and the Flemish Masters, with a historic center that has remained unchanged over time and frames with charm the fashion stores built within spectacular spaces in the cult of Nordic interior design.

In this exceptional and fervent mix of tradition and modernity, recorder of trends and creator of new styles, shines the Academy of Fashion and Fine Arts, the oldest in Europe, a school of international reputation where uninhibited talents such as Veronique Branquinho, A.F. Vandevorst, Stephan Schneider, Bernhard Willhelm, Peter Pilotto, Les Hommes/Bart Van Den Bossche and Tom Notte, Haider Ackermann, Kris Van Assche, Raf Simons, and Angelo Figus have grown up.

The great feat, however, came from a united group, "The Magnificent Six of Antwerp," as they got called by the press as soon as they, each with their own personal aesthetic, had come out of the Academy together: Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs, Marina Yee and, of course, Dries Van Noten.

Van Noten's Spring Summer 2022 collection is a sentimental and intimate tribute to his city, to moments spent in carefree, free-spirited fun, lazy summer vibes, in a visceral explosion of energy and imagined future life.

Design studio Dries Van Noten chose a collage styling that forms relaxed volumes without ever forgetting the precise foundations of the male wardrobe.

«I have always loved my life in Antwerp and chose to establish my company in this city. Through working with my international team, I had the pleasure of seeing it through their lives, and the new collection also takes its cue from the eyes and photo memories of the city's international residents, to observe and understand what catches their attention and how the place we know speaks to them» says the Belgian designer.

The models are the protagonists of these postcards taken in 56 iconic locations, still and moving images, day and night, of men and women and in unison with their surroundings.

And here come the prints inspired by the works of Pieter Paul Rubens, the "A" logo of the city designed by J. van den Bouwhuysen in 1970 as a geometric sign, the couture fabrics with iridescent studs glued, the inlays in the knitwear, and the signature scarves of Noten worn faithfully on the garments.

Traditional men's weaves explore all-gender sensibilities, from rugged flair to more fragile touch, from tailoring to workwear, offering a wide range of treatments and finishes, such as overdyed cotton, translucent or transparent silks, laser-cut viscose twill, polyester satin, camouflage, and reflective technical and military fabrics, printed denim, sports mesh, classic shirting poplin.There is no shortage of outerwear, from the trench coat to the traditional parka, long and straight jackets or fluid and soft, just like the variable fit of the pants, sometimes accompanied by overlapping aprons—even the colors alternate soft and pastel tones with bold ones.

The extra-large shopping bags in leather or brown imitation paper are plain or decorated with Rubens prints, combined with the new square sneakers, bulging sandals (a hybrid between a sandal and a clog), soft loafers, or classic shoes mounted on deep soles similar to the traditional sweet 'waffles,' eaten on every occasion.

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Barbara Tassara