ファッションショーを考える【2】 魔法が生まれる瞬間—ドリス ヴァン ノッテン


文/呉 佳子

翻訳/川田 康正

その役割をあらためて考えるべく、心に残るファッションショーを紹介するシリーズの第二弾は、パリコレクションに約30年ものあいだ継続して参加するドリス ヴァン ノッテンの2020-21年秋冬コレクション。

On Fashion Shows #2 
The Magical Moments of Dries Van Noten

A fashion show brings to life its designer’s vision, packing half a year of work into a presentation that lasts no more than 20 minutes. It’s a ritual that has long gone unquestioned, dutifully performed season after season, year after year; but today it finds itself at a crossroads as a result of the novel coronavirus and its ripple effects.
This column re-examines the role of the fashion show, taking a look at memorable shows from the past. The focus of this second installment is the Autumn/Winter 2020–21 collection by Dries Van Noten, a designer who has been a fixture at Paris Fashion Week for over a quarter of a century.

DRIES VAN NOTEN A/W 2020–21 collection


Whenever I find myself at Paris Fashion Week, engaged in a discussion with fellow journalists about what our personal highlights have been so far, one brand comes up every season without fail. It’s not one of the time-honored powerhouses of fashion, or some buzzed-about brand that’s undergoing a renaissance at the hands of a rising director, but our subject today: Dries Van Noten.

Dries waves to the crowd at the show’s finale, wearing his trademark navy blue and a serene smile.


他ブランドであればシーズンごとに撮りおろす広告でイメージを伝えることもできるが、ドリスは広告を一切打たない。つまり彼にとって、ファッションショーはシーズンの世界観を伝える唯一の手立てだ。英国『VOGUE』のインタビューに対して、彼はショーのことを「magical moment(魔法が生まれる瞬間)」と表現した。服、モデル、ヘアメイク、ライティング、音楽、会場設営など、あらゆる要素が一体となるひとときであり、クリエイションを手掛ける者にとって非常に重要な機会だと語っている。

Fashion shows that stir the heart

Designer Dries Van Noten’s devotion to his fashion shows is well documented.
While other brands may use ads shot for the season to offer a sneak peek of their latest looks, Dries doesn’t advertise. In other words, the runway is his only platform for telling the story he wants to tell that season. In an interview with British Vogue, Dries described the fashion show as a “magical moment” that’s vital for creative people – an occasion when “all the elements come together at once – the collection, models, hair, make-up, lights, music, setting.”
The industry’s biggest houses try to seduce the guests with every trick in the book, spending days building large-scale sets, pouring huge sums into decking up the venue, dressing celebrity attendees in their designs.
Not for Dries that glitzy pomp – as fashion shows come, his are fairly orthodox affairs, with a runway set up at the venue, typically flanked by seats for the guests. The lights will go down, heralding the start of the show; the chitter-chatter subsides, and a short-lived silence descends as the audience holds its breath in anticipation.
Then, in a moment of real drama, the music starts, and is soon joined by some tactfully curated lighting that ushers in the first model. As the show progresses, the world that Dries has conceived gradually takes shape, and the audience is left to bathe in its ambiance.
There's something about Dries shows that touches people’s hearts. It was this elusive quality that was explored by the 2014 exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, which delved into the background of Dries’s output, and by the 2017 documentary film ″Dries,″ a behind-the-runway portrait of the designer.



Decadence à la Dries

Dries’s show was a standout back at Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020, where his collection – a collaboration with Christian Lacroix – was welcomed by journalists and buyers with rapturous applause. The collection represented a remarkable blend of Lacroix’s lavish splendor and Dries’s sophistication. It was charged to the brim with exhilarating emotion, a true testament to the joy of dressing up.
Traces of that previous collection’s breathtaking glamor were still visible in his latest Autumn/Winter 2020–21 collection, which hit the runway at the end of February this year. But the overall air had radically changed, now suffused with an imposing darkness.

The first look of the latest collection. The flamboyance of the sequins and feathers is toned down neatly by the restrained plaid.
The models’ coolly melancholic gazes were a defining feature of the season’s womenswear show. ©Filep Motwary



“Pure beauty” is uninteresting

The collection’s theme was “Nocturnal Glamor.” These womenswear offerings, which drew on the nightlife fashion of London and New York from the ’70s and ’80s, oozed a sense of mystique, mixed with a certain melancholy.
At a recent interview, Dries told British journalist Susannah Frankel that “something purely beautiful is boring for me.” This collection, whose visual splendor was haunted by a suggestion of something unwholesome, appeared to embody this outlook. And by slipping some poison into the beauty, by concealing a thorn that snags, Dries achieved a style that has a visceral effect on viewers.

The emotionally charged looks stood out against the minimalist bare concrete of the venue.
The collection brought the glamorous excesses of the past into the 21st century, incorporating a grungy, dressed-down feel into its style.



Inspired by Serge Lutens

According to Dries, his latest collection was inspired in part by some Shiseido ad campaigns from the ’80s. It was Serge Lutens who conceptualized the ads, a French image creator whose work made a strong impression on contemporary viewers with its enigmatic mystique, uneasy beauty, and coolly elegant air. Today, thirty years on, the singular aesthetic of his meticulous creations has not lost its sheen, emanating an otherworldly charm that instantly captivates the beholder. It was from these formidable images that Dries drew his ideas, which allowed him to deftly reinvent the uninhibited maximalism of the ’80s into a wardrobe for our times.

Serge Lutens, ″autoportrait,″ 1991
Anne Rohart, styled and photographed by Serge Lutens, 1979
A woman with a unique and mysterious air, a hallmark of Serge Lutens’s images.
Susan Moncur, styled and photographed by Serge Lutens, 1982
For Serge Lutens, black was the supreme color, the summation of all colors.


The Lutens aesthetic could also be found in the runway show’s hair and makeup – courtesy of Sam McKnight and Inge Grognard respectively – which offered a contemporary take on his mysterious beauties.

The sleek, tightly combed-down hair evokes the glam mood of the ’80s with its electric colors, applied at the roots rather than the tips in a creative twist.
Streaks of bold colors – sky blue, yellow, fuchsia – accent the eyes, while faces have been transformed into blank canvases, powdered to the point of looking pallid. The sharply defined lips with angular Cupid’s bows are another distinctive touch. ©Filep Motwary


Three years ago, Dries reached a landmark – a total of 100 shows, counting both womenswear and menswear – an anniversary that was marked with the publication of a book cataloging his career to date.
“Fashion shows are really my way of communication,” he stated in the book.
Now, with the coronavirus on the loose, Dries is planning to digitally present his Spring/Summer 2021 collection, which is due to be unveiled this September. But if anyone can work their magic even over the internet, it’s Dries Van Noten. I’m eagerly waiting for September, thinking back to his past shows that remain etched in my memory.

Text: Yoshiko Go (Fashion Director, Shiseido)
Translation: Yasumasa Kawata (Art Translators Collective)


呉 佳子