The two have teamed up for Van Noten’s SS2020 show, revealing the big news on Wednesday the 25th of September during Paris Fashion Week at the Opera Bastille. According to the NY Times, this was “The Collaboration to End All Collaborations”.
Van Noten is lauded as “one of fashion’s most cerebral designers”, being a member of the acclaimed Antwerp Six of the ‘80s, described by Lacroix as excelling in “his ability to express maximalism with minimalism”. During the same time, Lacroix was the first major brand for luxury conglomerate LMVH to launch from scratch, turning the eponymous OTT haute couture line famed for his fanciful, opulent 18th century references into a leading fashion house. Lacroix’s since had faced cumulative losses of €44 million and had to file for bankruptcy back in 2009, having now revived his return to the creative industry.
Whilst brainstorming his looks for the upcoming season, Van Noten stumbled across great looks of Lacroix’s, and rather than just adding them to his mood board decided to just get in touch, sharing with the NY Times “Homage is often just another word for ripping off other people’s ideas”. LaCroix also clarified that there was no rivalry between the duo, “It was not a competition of egos”.
Regarding the collection, W Magazine notes that “Across the board, the devil was in the details — like sequins stitched into embroidery too intricate to appreciate from the front row. That was true of the beauty, too: Upon closer inspection, the swaths of pink and blue accenting models’ hair weren’t made of paint or dye, but carefully placed pieces of ostrich feathers.”
Fashion critic Tim Blanks took to his IG to post clips from the show captioned “All the years I wanted Christian Lacroix back on the catwalk, all the years when he had to make his way in the world using his genius in other arenas, they all came together in a moment on Wednesday afternoon in Paris when he and Dries Van Noten collaborated on a collection. Kindred spirits! The best of both worlds! Applause! Applause! @alexanderfury [Fashion Features Director of Another Magazine & menswear critic of the FT] was transported. The planets moved. @driesvannoten @fkachristianlacroix #thegeniusofcollaboration”. Fellow designers Helmut Lang, Marc Jacobs and Simon Porte Jacquemus were all up in the comments expressing their matched love and admiration for the “breathtaking” event.
The collection debuted 68 looks filled with colour, eclectic designs and materials including jacquards, animal prints, sequins, trompe l’oeil fur and brocade. Vogue dubbed the collaboration “what fashion dreams are made of”. Van Noten claimed he needed some form of escapism amidst the current state of affairs, and so the collection was aptly born “The political, economical and environmental climate can be divisive exclusionary and drab. This left me thirsting for all that would be maximalist, optimistic, flamboyant, inclusive and enchantingly extravagant. There is a place for powerful opulence, exaggeration and fun and I need that energy.”