Nureyev Sketched at Rest: Dries Van Noten Paris Menswear Spring/Summer 2015




Celebrated dancer Rudolf Nureyev once captivated crowds worldwide with his suspended leaps and effortless glides, and it was this sense of grace that inspired the heavily ballet-inspired Spring/Summer 2015 collection by Dries Van Noten. However, the cerebral Belgian designer imagines Nureyev not on the stage, but carrying his liquid elegance backstage, where his relaxed presence is as smooth as his performances.

The lounging dancer conjured by Van Noten is not stoic but sensual, with models displaying a surprising amount of skin for a Parisian runway. Scooped necks in low-cut black tees, bare torsos loosely veiled in blouse-like shirts and flowing skin-tone trousers sketch the image of a masculine form that may at once be at rest, yet might leap into eloquent action at any time. Even when offstage, Van Noten’s imagined dancer projects a natural fluidity, the form exquisitely enshrouded in a procession of thin, silky fabrics.

The ballet theme continues in wispy robes and light coats layered over rehearsal apparel such as low-cut tank tops, while easy shorts and high-waist sports pants flutter across the runway, occasionally accompanied by shoulder-high holsters with elaborate bullion embroideries—a subtle nod to the ballet costumes Van Noten researched extensively in his development of the collection.

While Van Noten’s shows are often characterized by abstract prints and contemporary art, for Spring/Summer 2015 it was the combination of these elements with a human inspiration that lent flesh to form in creating an arresting character to embody his subtle hand as an artist.

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