Dries Van Noten’s last show: A celebration | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Dries van Noten last show spring summer 2025
Photo from Dries van Noten/Instagram

Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten’s swan song in Paris is less of a sappy goodbye and more of a joyous celebration of his decades of designing wearable, experimental fashions


Dries Van Noten’s final show, staged in a factory on the outskirts of Paris, where his 50th show was held 20 years ago, comes three months after he announced that he will be stepping down from his eponymous label.

The 69-look men’s spring-summer 2025 show was attended by some of his peers in the industry, including Ann Demeulemeester and Walter Van Beirendonck who, along with Van Noten, comprised the Antwerp Six, a group of Royal Academy of Fine Arts graduates in Antwerp, Belgium who helped shape fashion as we know it today.

The show is emblematic of the showmanship that has come to be known as a Van Noten signature. A silver foil runway unfolded as David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” swole. Followers of the Belgian designer quickly caught on to this reference to his Fall 2006 show where models walked on a gold leaf runway.


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A post shared by Dries Van Noten (@driesvannoten)

As this is his last collection—although the designer said he will still advise on design aspects of the house—people were expecting a sort of “greatest hits” show but as a designer who thrives on unpredictability and experimentation, of course, it was not at all the case. Even in his last runway show, the designer is still taking risks, refusing to play it safe.

“It was really the idea of taking risks and to see how far we can push it. So there are quite a lot of new materials,” he told Vogue Business in an interview. “That makes me also a little bit nervous of course because there are things that are not so safe for me to do.”

Yet even in the challenge, a Dries fan can still inevitably see the codes of the house in play: understated prints, subversive tailoring, uncomplicated layers, an eye for mixing unconventional materials.

Photo from Dries van Noten website
Photo from Dries Van Noten website
Photo from Dries van Noten website
Photo from Dries Van Noten website

Transparency through sheer layers was present throughout the show, in roomy tops and outerwear that veil cozy inners, flowy pants that reveal inner thigh-baring shorts, and even in glossy synthetic uppers that protect delicate outerwear fabrics to make them seem hardier.

Of course, what is a Dries show without considered embellishments? They were on double-breasted suits peeping behind lapels, blooming on sleeves, cascading down immaculately pleated pants, growing along the seams of one bomber jacket, and burrowing like jewel beetles on another.

Matching the foil set, too, were lustrous metallics materialized in a sharp suit, a crisp coat in deep aubergine, and Lurex pants and shorts that formed ripples every time its wearer took a step. Then came the mouthwatering textures: soft satiny pinks, velvety blacks, fuzzy mohairs, the translucence of polyamide parkas.

Photo from Dries van Noten website
Photo from Dries Van Noten website

All those seem to pave the way for Dries’ pièce de résistance: large graphic flowers and leaves created through an ancient Japanese ink floating technique called suminagashi printed on semi-sheer cotton tops and bottoms with blank backs as if to signal the next phase in his creative journey—a blank slate, the underside of his years and years of cultivating creative independence.

Another nod to the designer’s design journey is the models themselves. Visibly years ahead of the usual fashion week cast, these men and women have walked previous Dries collections in the past, adding another layer of history to the show.

And for the last time, the designer walked the foiled path, hands waving, clad in his uniform navy crew neck sweater and salt and pepper hair, took one last bow. As if to counter tears and signal celebration, a giant disco ball descends on the runway, its many mini reflections shining down on every inch of the venue.

The swan song of Dries van Noten in Paris is less of a sappy goodbye and more a celebration of his decades of wearable, experimental fashions
Photo screenshot from Dries van Noten website

In an interview with British fashion journalist Suzy Menkes after the show, the designer is visibly happy and says so. Asked what he’s going to do next, he says curtly: “Things are going to happen. You’re going to see.”

In another interview, he was more specific while still keeping this under wraps by saying, “I can’t really talk about it yet. It has to do with everything that is very dear to me. I really want to continue to work with young people”

He adds, “I want to continue to understand how they look at the world, what fascinates them, what scares them, what they love. It’s also a lot of things to do with craft and, I think, everything, which for me is really part of how I look at the world.” 

At 66 and more than 120 shows later, Dries Van Noten, in his last show, continues to cultivate a garden of the mind. 

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