Looking Back at Dries Van Noten’s Best Looks in Vogue

Remembering Dries Van Noten’s Best Looks in Vogue, as He Steps Away From the Label He Founded

Models Ellen Rosa, Vinten, Forrest, Eniola Abioro, and Cara Taylor all wear Dries Van Noten x Christian Lacroix. Photographed by Daniel Jackson, Vogue, January 2020

Kesewa Aboah wears a A draped top and fringed skirt by Dries Van Noten. Photographed by Nadine Ijewere, Vogue, December 2020

Having cultivated his color-rich and textural collections as devotedly as his garden, Dries Van Noten, now 65, has decided to put down his shears in favor of his pruners. In a letter sent to friends of the brand this morning, he wrote “In the early ’80s, as a young guy in Antwerp, my dream was to have a voice in fashion. Through a journey that brought me to London, Paris, and beyond, and with the help of countless supportive people, that dream has come true. Now, I want to shift my focus to all the things I never had the time for.” As he does so, we stop to take a look back at his best looks in Vogue.

Belgian-born and trained, Van Noten is a quiet force in fashion, one known, as Hamish Bowles has put it, for his “poetically bohemian sensibility.” For 33 years—from 1985 until 2018—when he sold a majority stake in his company to Puig, Van Noten worked as an independent designer, following his intuition and, importantly, inserting his values into his garments. “Even when I say, ‘No, sorry, I really don’t feel like doing embroidery for next season,’ there is embroidery in the collections,” Van Noten said at the 2017 Forces of Fashion conference. “Sometimes it’s more visible, sometimes it’s more brass and gold, and sometimes it’s just white on white. But there is embroidery because, in the end, we are ultimately responsible for our 3,000 employees in India.” And, of course, his customers love it.

Dries Van Noten pulled out all the stops for the dinner/fashion show he hosted for his 50th show: After the plates were cleared, the chandeliers rose and the tables became the catwalk (see the photos from the spring 2005 collection here). So in March of 2017, when his 100th show came around, he presented it with little fanfare, but much emotion, inviting back to the runway some of the models he had most enjoyed working with through the years. Both of these gestures were hospitable and warm—like the man himself.  Fashion won’t be the same without him.

This article was originally published on Vogue.com

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