There are only a handful of fashion designers that can make historical references feel as natural and organic as Dries Van Noten. Although the designer himself is somewhat of a mystery, were hoping to get a better insight into the mind and life of the creator as a documentary about Van Noten is expected to hit cinema screens very soon. Until then, we’ll pass the time by digging into the references and inspiration from his spring/summer 2017 collection.

Cher Howrowitz from Clueless

Although the image of a sophisticated man such as Van Noten watching a cult movie about a somewhat superficial Valley girl seems rather comical, it isnt a total impossibility. And come to think of it, in the film, Cher famously compares a girl to a Monet painting, so perhaps Van Noten and her share a common interest in French impressionism. Either way, we fully support appreciation for both pop and high culture and we’re sure Van Noten would agree. Here, Chers layered look undergoes the sequin treatment; an update that she most certainly wouldnt oppose.

Marchesa Luisa Casati as herself  

The eccentric Italian heiress Luisa Casati is perhaps one of Van Notens favourite muses and has previously appeared in his autumn/winter 2016 collection.This time around, Van Noten used opulent textures and decorations to interpret Casatis extravagant look, paired with her signature kohl-rimmed eye. To nail the look during the festive season, try a high-neck Edwardian silhouette  reminiscent of old mourning dress.

Adele Bloch-Bauer as painted by Gustav Klimt

Dont we all want to look like we just stepped out of a painting? Well, thanks to Van Noten we can. Gustav Klimts portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer has inspired a dress and a pantsuit. This just goes to show that Van Noten knows what women want better than any other designer: to be comfortable whilst resembling a wealthy member of old Viennese society.

Trinity from Matrix

Its hard not to think of The Matrix when you see a long, black, leather coat, for the movie practically confirmed its existence as the ultimate power piece. Simultaneously it also launched an industry of cheap Matrix-inspired PVC and latex costumes. But trust Dries to turn this vision of cheap and sticky materials into a thing of elegance. As evidenced, Van Noten created a coat with a lustrous finish in the blackest of blacks adorned with a floral-pattern brocade collar.

Zorro from The Mask of Zorro

Unlike past times, nowadays masks serve as a mechanism for attention rather than disguise. And although Zorro dressed to hide his identity, he did so with immense style and dramatic flair – just as Van Noten proposed in his spring/summer 2017 collection. By pairing rich embroidered textures, sober colours and a delicate veil over the face you can channel your inner chic-superhero. The only question remaining is: will you ever really go unnoticed when dressed in Dries Van Noten?

Text by Ann-Marie Voina