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Thread: Dries Van Noten: After a Collection Walks, 選t Gives Me the Postnatal Depression'

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    Default Dries Van Noten: After a Collection Walks, 選t Gives Me the Postnatal Depression'

    By Ally Betker for NYMag

    Dries Van Noten spoke at the French Institute Alliance Fran軋ise last night, the final designer in a three-part Fashion Talks series (Stefano Pilati and Reed Krakoff were earlier participants). Iris Apfel introduced Dries, but not without struggling a bit to get situated onstage (典here痴 no light here, she whispered to her assistant. 的s this the light? she asked, gesturing toward the microphone that was picking up all her words). Finally, she addressed the audience 敵ood evening, I知 Iris Apfel, geriatric starlet and proceeded to read her remarks with the help of a giant magnifying glass. Apfel spoke to Van Noten痴 斗ove and respect for fabric and of his ability to stay independent of corporations and fashion groups. 滴is clothes are artistic, architectural and completely ageless ... thank God, quipped Apfel. 滴e痴 not plagued by trend-itis. He痴 fiercely independent and appears to be in complete control of everything he does the design, the creation, and the distribution. Free from all of the hazards of the money-grubbing, trendsetting-plagued boardrooms, he has carved out his freedom to be his own man. Quite a feat in these days of sell outs and media freaks. Quite a feat, indeed. The designer spoke with moderator Pamela Golbin about the challenges he faces as his brand's creative director and CEO, going to fashion school in the seventies, the difficulties of designing, and much more.

    On attending Antwerp痴 Royal Academy: 敵oing to fashion school in the seventies, it was really difficult to be judged by a [teacher] who said, like, 鮮o short skirts, only pants, or, 塑ou can do short skirts, but then you have to cover the knees with stockings, and things like that 銑ong hair is untidy, so it had to be all chignon or short hair. 遷eans are for poor people. So, that was our teacher. So, in fact, when you have so many restrictions, you have to be enormously creative ... It was kind of a battle [But the most important lesson I learned from school was] that there are restrictions involved. And that restrictions ... aren稚 always bad. I think that in life there are restrictions. People have to wear clothes. [You can稚] design whatever you want.

    On the difficulties of designing: 溺aking my collection is for me sometimes troubling. Some people who know me really well, know it痴 sometimes kind of a struggle. And after the show it gives me the postnatal depression ... I have to cover a lot of markets. You see how people are in Germany and Holland and then in Japan, the weather, the climates [are different]. When you make a winter collection, it has to be successful in Hong Kong and Singapore and also in L.A. and New York ... Shapes of women are also different, so you have to think, Okay, that痴 more for slender people, that痴 for the bigger people, and it痴 all these things.

    On his use of fabrics: 的知 more inspired by things which I don稚 like ... nothing is so boring as something beautiful. I prefer ugly things, I prefer things which are surprising ... You force yourself to ask yourself questions. Quite often I make a collection and I say, 践ere痴 a color I really don稚 like. ... My assistants will say 'Okay, you don稚 like lilac,' [that means] this season will be lilac. It痴 like you see a color, and you think, Why don稚 I like this color? Maybe the composition is wrong, maybe the lighting is wrong it would be beautiful in silk, but not the synthetic fabric ... That for me is the fun, to play with all the [fabrics] ... Sometimes fabrics come in two to three weeks before the collection has to be ready. Sometimes you get carried away ... [But] when everything goes too smooth, I start to worry. I think, maybe it痴 not good. It has to be a bit of a struggle. If it痴 going too smooth I think, My goodness, still three months to go. Maybe I値l be bored by the time it痴 over. Let痴 add some things.

    On his fashion shows: 擢ashion shows are really my way of communication. I don稚 go on Twitter, I don稚 go to parties, I don稚 often do fashion talks like this. So for me, it痴 really what I want to communicate. It痴 the end of the story ... So the venue, the light, the location, the sound, the hair, the makeup, all makes it for me. You have ten minutes to explain to your audience what you池e doing, what you want to tell. So everything has to be perfect.

    On being both the creative director and the CEO of his brand: 釘oth things give energy to each other, I think. I like to be aware of what痴 happening on the business side also. I like to talk to the buyers of the stores which are buying the collection, I like to decorate stores, I like to see how the merchandise is put in the stores. I know a lot [about] that. Of course, I don稚 want to be a victim of that either. [If] my sales teams says, 前h, this style was very successful, please repeat it next season, I say, 選f it was very successful one season, that means that everyone who wanted to have it bought it already, so let痴 do something else.樗

    On knockoffs: 典hat痴 one of the disadvantages of modern technology. It痴 so fast, that it痴 already like, a few minutes after the show, on the Internet, you have like, the shoe痴 details from the back, side, front. It makes it easy sometimes ... I think it痴 the reality. I don稚 want to live in the old world, like 35, 30 years ago when people had pr黎--porter and that was it. I think fast fashion is good. I think modern people combine vintage with designer clothes, with a piece they buy at Zara or other stores why not?

    On what he wears day-to-day: 鉄omething very boring. It痴 a case for us fashion designers, when you have to make so many choices in the day you have to select fabrics, styles the last thing you want to do in the morning when you open your closet is say, 前kay, should I put my orange pants with my green sweater? ... It痴 more out of laziness [that I only wear my own clothes]. In fact, when I find a style I like I have my assistant make twelve pieces of it.

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    cool, thanks for that. he seems like a nice, down to earth person from the interview.

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    i wouldn't have expected to hear from dries that bit about being inspired by things he doesn't like, but it makes sense considering the constant surprises, and underlying strangeness, coming from his recent collections. i've found myself sort of confused lately, not sure if i want to wear things that are easy to wear or more difficult, but it's too true that in the end the things that are the most memorable are the ones that force you to confront your own way of seeing things.

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