If a mood board were to come alive, "Inspirations", Dries Van Noten's retrospective at Le Musee des Art Décoratifs in Paris, would be the perfect incarnation to prove how they would look like. Being completely immersed in the two dark floors dedicated to the show, I felt identified with Dries's magical creative process.
Dries doesn't circumscribe to visual arts exclusively, but his creations have drawn from musicians such as Jimmy Hendrix, artists like Victor Vasarely and Damien Hirst, movies like Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange and Jane Campion’s The Piano and countries like Spain. Van Noten's inspirations are shown next to some of the iconic creations whose origins can be traced back to a particular movement, art piece or movie scene. Many of the display windows look like the most fascinating cabinet of curiosities.
I loved seeing the section devoted to geometric abstraction with Dries's dresses next to "Opus III" by Victor Vasarely and the Spanish area with the bullfighter- inspired outfits as well as references to Pedro Almodovar's "Tacones Lejanos".
The second floor, is a hyper saturated hothouse of kaleidoscopic flowers. An invitation to explore the more lighthearted side of van Noten's creativity. Sections such as "Bollywood", "60s Hippie Chic" and "Orientalism" were interspersed with more and more flowers printed on the ceiling, walls and floors. Cecil Beaton’s Alice in Wonderland rabbit suit from the late 1930s is also on display next to some of Van Noten's most whimsical garment pieces.
The show is a crowd pleaser for both fashion and art lovers. It fuels curiosity and engages the senses. Luckily, the exhibition was just extended and will stay up until November 2nd. Unmissable.