Dries Van Noten Menswear Spring/Summer 2015
Ode to Nureyev
Words by Michael Johnson
Drawing inspiration from classical dance deserves considered observation and takes a serious visionary like Dries Van Noten to interpret movement's intangible essences of beauty through clothing. His Spring/Summer 2015 Paris collection glorified the splendiferous virtuosic form of the male classical dancer.
Every lithe model embodied the danseur noble and carried the collection with an uncompromising elegance. High woven waistbands and tights with braces layered beneath wide legged pants or shorts ending with thick brown ballet shoes; there has never been a truer depiction on the runway of the ballet class aesthetic.
Van Noten’s sensibility expresses the sensuality of the moving man. “I was thinking about the sensual man. Skin, skin and skin.” proclaims Van Noten backstage whilst hair stylists tussle and damp hair to reflect the after thought of a rigorous studio rehearsal.
His clothing and whole collection bares homage to the great Rudolf Nureyev. His palette and colour choice is as luxurious and rich as Nureyev’s tapestry collections. Prints and vivd hues of oranges collide creating an aura of Les Ballets Russes. This evocative tribute included literal references also, scoop neck leotard tops with embroidered oversized medieval ‘R’ and the number ’71’ (1971 was a particularly significant year for Nureyev).
Skin tone silk shirts worn slightly open and longer robes draped just off the shoulder, included delicate illustrations by artist Richard Haines. These sketches were taken from the nude series of Nureyev by fashion photographer Richard Avedon. Athletic strapped harnesses with textured gold brocade armoured some of the bare models chests; these representing a signature costume piece from Rudolf’s gravity defying solo in La Bayadere.
Inspired by the iconic style of one of the greatest male dancers of the twentieth century, Van Noten demonstrated he is a master tastemaker and ‘poet laureate' of fashion. His exhibition, INSPIRATIONS held at Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris was - like so many of his designs, highly worth experiencing.