For the first time the world-renowned fashion designer has allowed a filmmaker to follow him close, both in his creative process and in his private life, in the documentary ‘Dries’ by Reiner Holzemer.
Dries Van Noten is anything but an ordinary designer, known for using techniques such as deconstruction and pattern mixes, not making sketches of his creations but draping them on models, choosing distinct colors and fabric and not advertising.
For the very first time you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself into the designer’s world in a new documentary that will hold its world premiere at CPH:DOX on March 18 at 18:00, which will be presented in partnership with Copenhagen Fashion Week.
For an entire year director Reiner Holzemer documented the precise steps that Dries takes to conceive of four collections, the rich fabrics, embroidery and prints exclusive to his designs. As well as the emblematic fashion shows that bring his collections to the world and have become cult “must sees’ at the Parisian Fashion week. ‘Dries’ offers an insight into the life, mind and creative heart of a Master Fashion Designer who, for more than 25 years, has remained independent in a landscape of fashion consolidation and globalization.
Beautiful and intimate portrait
‘Dries’ is not only a fascinating and beautiful portrait of the designer’s unconventional professional methods and sources of inspiration, which include artist Gerhard Richter’s abstract paintings, Pina Bausch’s ballets, Marcel Proust’s novels or Azuma Makota’s oversized flower photographs. The documentary is also an intimate depiction of the master designer’s thoughts and feelings in an ever-changing and fast paced fashion world. Follow Dries Van Noten as he begins draping the first draft of the new collection or when he finds a quiet moment to spend with his partner Patrick Vangheluwe in their lavish garden.
The director Reiner Holzemer’s interest for Dries Van Noten sprang from the designer’s otherness in the fashion industry: “He plays an outstanding role in the fashion world. He does not advertise and nevertheless is being praised for his collections by the entire fashion press. He is not the usual fashion character who lives an exotic, dramatic or scandalous life. Always even tempered, he is the opposite. Neither does he follow the trends of the fashion market (e.g. conceive more collections a year, sell more accessories, shoes, bags and perfumes than garments). These trends might be leading to more sales and margins but, most of the time, also go along with a loss in quality and creativity. And this is not what Dries wants”.
Reiner Holzemer points out two potential reasons for this:
“First of all, Dries is a perfectionist who only wants to show the achieved perfection as a result of his work. Filmmakers want to follow the creative process, through all the phases when, precisely, nothing looks perfect. Taking the risk to maybe destroy the magic of a collection in the eyes of an uninformed public. Then, Dries is the most discreet person I have ever met in my life. Being followed by a camera is at the antipode of what he stands for”.
What made Dries Van Noten say yes this time?
“It took three years for the designer to agree on my proposal. He was cautious. Patience brought its reward. We met a few times and discussed the way I work, my hopes for the film”, explains Reiner Holzemer, who committed to shoot alone with an occasional sound-man and agreed to test shoots to see how things felt.
The result? A unique and intimate documentary, as fascinating as Dries Van Noten himself. Elegant, captivating and completely unforgettable. The world premiere of the film will be held under CPH:DOX, on March 18 at 18:00 at Bremen Teater, presented together with Copenhagen Fashion Week, and subsequently in Copenhagen cinemas until March 26.
‘Dries’ World premiere.
March 18, 2017, 18:00.
Presented in partnership with Copenhagen Fashion Week.