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05-11-2004
  1
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Quote:
Dries Van Noten Hits 50
In looking back on the designer's career, stylists, editors and the fashionable flock get Noten-ably serious

NEW YORK: Friday, November 05, 2004

If only we all aged this well. Last night, despite it raining cats and dogs, things were decidedly vivacious as Polly Mellon joined Barneys New York in hosting a celebratory party for Dries Van Noten’s new book, Dries Van Noten I…50. The photo-based tome, which chronicles the first 50 collections of the Belgian designer, was brought to life thanks to Mr. Van Noten himself, who re-created an installation that was used as the centerpiece of a launch event for his book in Antwerp.

With runway videos of 49 of his 50 collections—his team couldn’t locate film from the designer’s very first show—hostess Mellon, not looking one iota different from her younger years, relived the fashion scene surrounded by other Dries fans, including Vogue’s Sally Singer and designers Martin Grant and Thakoon Panichgul. “You sort of have a feeling of another time with Dries,” she said. “I’m a great admirer of someone who has the nerve to do what he believes.” In Style’s Hal Rubenstein agreed. “The way he respects people; it just demands that he be respected in return. His spring 2005 show [referring to the dinner setting complete with a 492-foot long table, crystal chandeliers and individual wait staff for each guest] was the most civilized and elegant show I have ever seen. I’ve had the privilege of seeing many of Dries’ collections, and this one was simply breathtaking.”

Simon Doonan, long a fan of the designer, said that he considers Dries a member of his and Barneys’ family. “He really understands what women want,” Doonan said with a decidedly out-of-character serious tone. “He surrounds himself with women that dress well.” The creative director also said that his favorite show was the one where Dries staged his show in an emptied out swimming pool.

Dries himself, who had just flown in the night before and was off to Boston for an appearance at Louis Boston after a trunk show at Barneys, said that having created 50 collections means that he can now start all over again. “These books are like first person souvenirs,” Van Noten said. “Some things you’re proud of, and some you look back and say, ‘Oops.’”

While every designer is bound to have one or two of those “Oops” moments in their career—should they even be fortunate enough to design 50 collections—no one seemed to recall any. Many guests wore their favorite Dries pieces, including Julie Gilhart. Anne Grauso, in Carolina Herrera, and Herve Pierre Braillard made a pit stop at the party on their way to the Guggenheim’s Aztec Ball to pick up four copies of the book. “It’s going to be a book-filled Christmas,” Grauso laughed. But a much more stoic Dawn Brown opted to not play favorites with the designers her store carries. “I’m wearing Prada tonight,” she quipped. “I want to stay neutral.” But leave it to the Paper magazine crew to give credit where credit’s due. Mickey Boardman was busy trailing Lynn Yaeger as she made her way through the racks of Dries Van Noten clothing on display. “Excuse me, we’re off to do a little shopping,” he said. “She’s a Dries whore.”

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05-11-2004
  2
flaunt the imperfection..
 
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we love dries...thx stylegurrl...

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05-11-2004
  3
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There's a very nice Dries display in the front windows (Madison Ave) of Barneys NY right now in case anyone cares to see....it actually made me stop and do a double take......

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05-11-2004
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thanks ...i'm going tomorrow...

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06-11-2004
  5
scenester
 
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Wow! That is so many collections. Congrats to them. I love their brand.

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06-11-2004
  6
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Quote:
Originally posted by softgrey@Nov 5 2004, 11:27 PM
we love dries...thx stylegurrl...
[snapback]419982[/snapback]
and we should have gone! Word is it was a good party.

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11-11-2004
  7
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From today's WWD:

Quote:
Thursday November 11, 2004
Dries Van Noten’s Boston Reprise

BOSTON — “Something like this will happen every 86 years, like the Red Sox.” With these words, Debi Greenberg, the owner of Louis Boston, bids farewell to some of the guests assembled at her famed temple of shopper’s delight on Saturday night.

The day had belonged, however, not to the guys who shattered the Curse of the Bambino, but to Dries Van Noten, known for his trademark mix of the stylish and folkloric, in town for the second of his two U.S. book parties. To mark the completion of his first 50 shows, including women’s and men’s, over his 20 years in business, Van Noten put together the intriguing volume, “Dries Van Noten 1…50.” Stop one two nights ago was a soiree at Barneys New York, hosted by Polly Mellen. The day in Boston made for a quite different affair. In addition to arranging an afternoon of book signing, Greenberg invited a number of younger New York designers, including Alice Roi, Derek Lam, Jane Mayle and the Proenza Schouler boys, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, to a cocktail and dinner party at Restaurant L, her store’s famous in-house eatery. Though in Van Noten’s honor, the event was for their benefit, as well: to offer these designers, mostly still green in the ways of business, a chance to learn from one who has stayed his own fashion course, independent of the now de rigueur big-name backers.

“Young designers have always been the nucleus of Louis Boston,” Greenberg says. “I wanted to do something that would nurture a young-designer mentality, something other than what they’re taught, which is to be the next best thing.”

A glance around the store, styled to re-create on a smaller scale the Antwerp installation with which Van Noten launched his book, capsulizes his career in a cascade of images and text stapled onto paper strips hanging from the ceiling. It is a career of mostly hits, with a few misses, always marked by a memorable and inventive show, and always with the designer in full control. As Greenberg will later remind everyone: “There are not a lot of mentors in America like this.”

If the New York guests at the event need proof that one can forge a viable, independent career without the cash gained and lost control of major backing, they need look no further than to the unassuming man standing on the first floor of Louis Boston, hands often politely behind his back, save for the occasional enthusiastic gesture.

He may not have the visibility or recognition factor of Tom Ford or Giorgio Armani — one woman mistakenly approaches Van Noten’s publicist to ask him to sign her copy — but those assembled never question his success. Rather, queries as to how he acquired that success arise throughout, from the book signing to cocktails to dinner, which is precisely Greenberg’s intent: to have the newbies and Dries interact with and learn from one another. Dinner, in all its seven-course glory, is set up to best accommodate this. The designers and their own mini-entourages — business partners, publicists and, thanks to one recent runway proposal, Roi’s fiancé — sit at tables, each with two seats left empty so that Van Noten and his partner Patrick Van Gheluwe can rotate through the room with each dinner course.

Talk covers the basics — how Van Noten got his start and his fiercely independent business model — and ranges on to advice on the necessity of pre-collections, financial backers and advertising, or, in his case, lack thereof. “He told me that he still has headaches,” says Roi, who’s not sure if she agrees with Van Noten’s no-advertising approach, but finds comfort in his acknowledgment that it’s hard for him, as well.

“I see in the business how long it takes,” says Mayle, designer and owner of her NoLIta boutique. “It’s not an overnight success that does it, but a slow buildup. I mean, here’s Dries at 50 [shows].”

“Ten years,” Van Noten answers when asked how long it took him to feel comfortable as a company. “Ten years out of 20. So now if something is not happy, I will still be there next season.”

The guest of honor discusses the process of putting his book together with Proenza’s McCollough and Lazaro. It’s a practical request: McCollough is thinking about doing his own, though not one necessarily related to fashion and “not a written book.” He learns it took Van Noten three and a half months to complete the project.

“Stay the course,” Van Noten tells Lam. “Grow your business slowly and always maintain creative control.” It’s a simple enough formula, but one that’s increasingly hard for young designers to follow today; celebrity and currency are, after all, fashion’s apple of Eden. “In difficult times,” Van Noten says, “it has been tempting to knock on the door of big conglomerates. When the future is predicted to be bleak, or when you worry your business might soften, the temptation has always been there. But when I see how big conglomerates impose their way of doing and thinking, I am happy I kept my independence.”

Of the new acquaintances made tonight, Van Noten says, “I talk to young Belgian designers all the time. It’s interesting to see that, at the end, it’s the same. They have the same pressures.”

The dinner draws to a close at midnight. Van Noten has been on his feet since two in the afternoon, greeting fans, signing copies of his book, and playing mentor to his colleagues. But there is no rest for the weary. Van Noten must to return home the next day to finish the January men’s collection. In other words, Chapter 51. — Venessa Lau

Party by Numbers

NEW YORK — Dries Van Noten is clearly a stickler for presentation. And topping his ornate fashion show-cum-dinner party in Paris would be no easy feat. But he managed just fine last week at the Barneys New York party for his new book, “Dries Van Noten 1...50.”

The event was hosted by legendary fashion fixture and pal Polly Mellen, and many diverse devotees of the Belgian designer turned up to pay homage. Among them: Stefano Tonchi, actress Lynn Collins, Thakoon Panichgul and Anne Grauso. Van Noten and his team transformed the store’s fifth floor into an extensive collage exhibit (it took four days to install) representing the designer’s first 50 fashion shows.

“We wanted to take the whole atmosphere of the book and make it [come] alive,” explained Van Noten, who kept being interrupted by gushing fans. Host Mellen graciously greeted revelers and seemed to enjoy her foray into the fashion world, although school is where her focus lies these days. “I’m taking classes in everything from molecular biology to Shakespeare,” said Mellen. “It gives me a real lift. These are all the things I didn’t have time for when I was working.” — Anamaria Wilson

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11-11-2004
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Dries is the man, WOOT!!!

How much is the book?

P.S. That's it, I am getting me a Dries scarf tomorrow.

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11-11-2004
  9
flaunt the imperfection..
 
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is that an early christmas present or birthday present faust...?

interesting idea about the dinner...i really like that...

thanks for posting this article atelier...

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11-11-2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by softgrey@Nov 11 2004, 10:51 AM
is that an early christmas present or birthday present faust...?

interesting idea about the dinner...i really like that...

thanks for posting this article atelier...
[snapback]427122[/snapback]
My cardigan was supposed to be an early bday present , so I guess that will has to be New Year's present (we don't celebrate Xmas).

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11-11-2004
  11
flaunt the imperfection..
 
softgrey's Avatar
 
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LOL...you're going to have to start making up extra holidays soon...

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11-11-2004
  12
trendsetter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by faust@Nov 11 2004, 10:22 AM
Dries is the man, WOOT!!!

How much is the book?

P.S. That's it, I am getting me a Dries scarf tomorrow.
[snapback]427101[/snapback]

Funny, I was thinking that I was going to wear mine at the weekend. It's a summer scarf but it'll have to do.

I'm bored shi*less today.

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11-11-2004
  13
no photos, no photos
 
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add that book to my Xmas list....

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11-11-2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by softgrey@Nov 11 2004, 10:54 AM
LOL...you're going to have to start making up extra holidays soon...
[snapback]427128[/snapback]
Ok, I couldn't wait. I bought it . I was hunting for it ever since it came out last winter, but it was prohibitively expensive and sold out quick in NYC. But now one turned up on Ebay, and now it's mine . It's so gorgeous, I wish I could post a picture.

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11-11-2004
  15
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do you buy from ebay quite a lot. I bought a pair of shoes once but I tend to be wary of it. nearly bought a fake balenciaga bag from it

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