Above: FLEMISH MASTERS - Dries Van Noten Inspirations, Image courtesy of MoMu Antwerp.
Read PART ONE here. 

Read PART TWO here.

Text by Carina Allen


DRIES VAN NOTEN “Inspirations” MoMu, Antwerp, Belgium – Feb. 14 – July 19 2015



A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM - Dries Van Noten Inspirations, Image courtesy of MoMu Antwerp.


After over 30 years of creating couture fashion lines and clothing, Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten displays some of his most noted work over the past years side by side with the art, ideas, and themes that initially inspired his work. With displays that show off the fashion nearly as much as the works that inspired them, viewers get an inside look into the mind of an experienced designer. For his “Midsummer Night’s Dream” themed spring 2015 women’s collection, Noten cites the image Shane (Foxtail Barley), (2014) by Ryan McGinley as one of his big inspirations for the line. McGinley, whose work often features nude subjects in nature or against bright colors in the studio, is working today as a photographer, finding new ways of approaching both portraiture and photography in general. Van Noten can take McGinley’s work and incorporate aspects of it into his process and execution of his clothing design, allowing ideas and themes to travel from medium to medium. Noten also reminds us where our roots of creativity come from, incorporating both Renaissance and modern ideas at once, citing Elizabeth Peyton’s version of da Vinci’s classic portrait, Lady with an Ermine 1480-90, (after Leonardo da Vinci), (2003) as his inspiration for his spring 2009 men’s collection, linking it back to his fall 1999, “Flemish Masters” collection that took artistic cues from the iconic Flemish painters of the 15th century.

You can see more images of MoMu’s “Inspirations” exhibition on their facebook page:

Across the world, artists are creating new works every day that display antique influence, relying on or shifting the traditional forms of art that we’ve grown accustomed to. Artists working outside the box and developing ideas that allude to works done by other current artists are showing that the creative world thrives off itself, spitting ideas in and out, only to create more challenging, intriguing, and gripping work, that will someday be recycled into new art.

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