Despite the release of numerous fashion films over the past few years, many of those outside the fashion industry (and even some of those in it) don’t really know what the day to day life of a designer is really like. But Dries – a documentary by Reiner Holzemer that follows a whole year in the life of the Belgian designer Dries Van Noten – will change all that.
Van Noten is one of the few established designers to have remained totally independent throughout his incredible career which began in 1986 when he showed menswear as part of London Fashion Week. What becomes clear, as Holzemer builds up a picture of this understated, thoughtful designer, is that his longevity is all about his obsession with giving his customers beautiful clothes that become wardrobe favourites for decades rather than seasons.
As well as providing a really intimate portrait into how his company operates from the incredible fabrics and embroideries that are so much a part of the Dries world, to the show production in Paris, the film provides an incredible sense of the non-stop work of a designer at the top of their game. But better still, Holzemer really captures the man behind the brand too. We get a rare and privileged insight into Ringenhof, the exquisite neo-classical home with the most extraordinarily beautiful interiors and gardens, that the designer shares with his partner Patrick Vangheluwe. The beauty of it – and the way Van Noten orchestrates it – is mind-blowing. No wonder women everywhere want to step into his world.