Berliner Tageblatt - Paris fashionistas says au revoir to design legend Dries Van Noten

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Paris fashionistas says au revoir to design legend Dries Van Noten
Paris fashionistas says au revoir to design legend Dries Van Noten / Photo: © AFP/File

Paris fashionistas says au revoir to design legend Dries Van Noten

Fashion great Dries Van Noten made an emotional farewell at Paris Fashion Week on Saturday as he headed into retirement at just 66.

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"I don't know how I'm feeling yet. It was very intense, I'm really very happy," he said backstage immediately after the show.

Hundreds came to a hangar in northern Paris to bid adieu to the "Flemish master".

With designers such as Giorgio Armani and the late Karl Lagerfeld determined to work well into their 80s, Van Noten's decision to hang up his needles earlier this year came as a shock.

While not a household name, he is beloved in fashion circles for a 40-year career in which he combined audacity, sophistication and poetry.

His signature looks -- popular with both sexes -- were all in the show: impeccably cut suits, innovative materials, cleverly clashing colours -- all of it finding the meeting point between slouchy comfort and elegant tailoring.

"It was never going to be a best-of," Van Noten said.

"It was really the idea to do new materials: wadding of recycled cashmeres, transparent recycled polyester and those classic English wools.

"The clashes of all those things were really important to me. I hope they worked."

His staff will take over collections starting with the womenswear show in September, with the only condition that they remain in Antwerp, away from the Paris fashion hubbub.

The Puig Group, which acquired a majority stake in the label in 2018, agreed.

Van Noten told The New York Times last week it was time to give up the "addiction" of fashion.

"Everything's too intense. I can't come down anymore," he said.

- Hermes and Loewe -

Earlier Saturday, there was a surprising lack of leather at Hermes and a restrained but celeb-packed Loewe show.

Hermes, known worldwide for its homemade leather bags and accessories, presented a show full of cotton and linen whites and blues for its spring-summer 2025 collection.

It was a collection "grazed by a gentle breeze... Clothing casts reflections into the transparency of water," designer Veronique Nichanian said in her press release.

Sandals and a sleeveless bomber-style jacket were among the few signs of leather among the docker hats, trench coats and drawstring trousers.

Meanwhile, Loewe, the rising Spanish star in the LVMH conglomerate, put on a minimalist show -- "the radical act of restraint", as Northern Irish creative director JW Anderson put it.

On the front row were Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar, US actor Jeff Goldblum and singer of the moment Sabrina Carpenter.

The minimalism still carried the sort of strange and ornate touches that Anderson loves, such as long exotic or golden feathers swooping down from headbands and weird angular collars jutting out from T-shirts.

The brand's signature cargo pants came with an Ottoman harem twist.

"I don't think they were clothes for me, but I loved it," Almodovar told AFP afterwards.

"Coming here is like going to a show, to the cinema, to the opera, to the theatre: each character has to be dressed in a certain way, a lot of emotion is created that way," he added.