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Dries 2017


Distributed by Kimstim, 417 13th Street #2, Brooklyn, New York 11215

Directed by Reiner Holzemer
DVD, color, 88 min.

High School - General Adult
Fashion, Design, Clothing

Date Entered: 04/30/2018

Reviewed by Johnnie N. Gray, Director of Media Services, Christopher Newport University

A different approach to haute couture drives Dries Van Noten, the well-established fashion designer of more than 20 years. This is the first documentary solely about him and the influence he has had on the fashion world. His idea that fashion should not be what is in style, but something that expresses oneself and can be worn whenever. This fashion documentary follows four fashion shows in Paris that Dries designed and the viewer sees his amazing creations. The viewer watches as swatches of fabric that Dries himself designed are brought in and matched to see if they work or don’t work for the fashion. The eclectic and possible clashing patterns become the hallmark of what makes this designer popular. Sadly, this is about as far as we glimpse into Dries’ garment creation. He gives equal attention to menswear as he does when dressing the woman, which is refreshing. Influences of classic styles become open season for Dries as he puts together collections of unorthodox silks and lighter fabrics, transforming them into options for daily wear - something other designers seem to abhor.

Dries, however, remains a complete enigma. This very private designer opens up slightly but does not show his creative process, something fashion students would be very interested in seeing. We do get a glimpse of his personal life at home and with his partner, but as far as the sketching and designing aspects go, little to nothing is shown. A fascinating documentary about a legendary and still active designer. Any real insight into the fashion world is a treat for those wanting to see behind the curtain and peer into the world of the haute couture designer. Well shot and engaging, this documentary is suitable for any age, though those interested in design will benefit the most.