Início Tech Ann Demeulemeester, Diane Von Furstenberg, Thom Browne, Pierpaolo Piccioli and More

Ann Demeulemeester, Diane Von Furstenberg, Thom Browne, Pierpaolo Piccioli and More


For Dries Van Noten’s farewell show on Saturday, there was hardly a celebrity in sight. Instead, scores of fellow designers turned out to celebrate a colleague they hailed as a master of his craft.

Champagne flowed at the pre-show cocktail where Van Noten himself mingled with industry figures such as Thom Browne, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Haider Ackermann, Joyce Ma and Julie Gilhart, and past and present members of his team, reunited for the occasion. 

“It’s nice that we’re here,” said Browne. “This is a time we have to really celebrate and support each other.”

As might be expected, there was a strong Belgian contingent: fellow Antwerp Six designers Ann Demeulemeester and Walter Van Beirendock were joined by Kris Van Assche and Glenn Martens, two other graduates of Antwerp’s Royal Academy.

Kris Van Assche and Ann Demeulemeester at the Dries Van Noten Spring 2025 ready-to-wear show

Kris Van Assche and Ann Demeulemeester at the Dries Van Noten Spring 2025 ready-to-wear show

Stephane Feugere/WWD

Demeulemeester said she was “very proud” of her dear friend and colleague of more than 40 years — for what he has accomplished, and for deciding to stop on his terms.

“You’re on a rolling train and you only live once, so you have to jump off if you want to be free and want to do something else in your life still,” said the designer, who bowed out of fashion in 2013 and has gone on to create tableware, furniture and fragrance. “I think it’s very courageous.”

The third generation of his family to work in the apparel business, Van Noten, along with Demeulemeester, Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee, piled into a van in 1991, drove to Paris to show their wares, and took the city by storm, putting a small Belgian city on the fashion map.

“Dries was the one who was professional, who worked already in fashion, who knew everything about how the business worked,” Demeulemeester said about the unofficial ringleader of the Antwerp Six.

Van Beirendonck said Van Noten’s industry knowledge, “practical way of thinking and working, his preciseness” rubbed off on them. “The synergy between the Six was incredible because we were pushing each other into all different directions,” he enthused.

“I’m so happy to be here. I have not been in a fashion show since my last fashion show six years ago,” said Diane Von Furstenberg, who had just arrived from Brussels, where she presented her documentary “Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge.”

The former chairwoman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America has been friendly with Van Noten since the association honored him with its International Designer of the Year Award in 2008. 

“Dries sends me chocolates every Christmas,” she said. “When we gave him the CFDA award, at the time we had money and there was a budget to make a film. I said, ‘Who do you want to make your film?’ He said, ‘You.’ Which really meant him, because he’s a control freak. So I spent three days doing his film with him, and we got close.”

She looked forward to spending more time with him going forward, as they both have homes in Italy. Asked what he should do next, at 66, she replied: “Honor life, which is what we should all do.”

Diane von Furstenberg at the Dries Van Noten Spring 2025 ready-to-wear show

Diane von Furstenberg at the Dries Van Noten Spring 2025 ready-to-wear show

Stephane Feugere/WWD

The mood was joyful, rather than sad, as images of Van Noten’s shows played on screens in the center of the room.

Martens was among those reminiscing about his personal favorite: fall 2006. “I was a dresser in the days when I was at the Academy and it was a show, the whole catwalk was gold leaves, so when the girls were walking on the gold leaves, the gold leaves were spiraling and flowering around them. It was pretty gorgeous,” he said.

Little did guests know that Van Noten was preparing to reprise the idea with his swan-song show, except with a catwalk made of trembling silver leaves. 

Martens hailed Van Noten for his “poetry and of course, a master of color and a sense of beauty.” He also suggested a “carpe diem” approach for his next chapter. “I mean, he has an amazing garden full of peonies that he has to take care of, so I think he really should enjoy life,” he said. 

As someone just starting out in his career, Harris Reed was inspired by Van Noten’s decision to leave the industry on a high.

“I find it incredibly admirable. For me, I love the idea of someone basically saying, ‘I’m choosing to go on my own terms,’ especially in an industry where you see a lot of burnout and you see a lot of people kind of becoming not their best selves, or things kind of unraveling, or sales dropping,” the Nina Ricci creative director said.

As a fellow designer, he is endlessly inspired by Van Noten’s body of work.

“He’s one of the last designers that still plays with fashion. And it is playful, it’s textural, and it’s always a spectacular kind of experience,” Reed said. “It’s always performance, and as someone who’s always pushing for more performance, I’m obsessed.” 

Harris Reed at the Dries Van Noten Spring 2025 ready-to-wear show

Harris Reed at the Dries Van Noten Spring 2025 ready-to-wear show

Stephane Feugere/WWD

Neil Barrett hailed Van Noten as “an amazing designer. He’s been so consistent and he just has such integrity. What he does is beautiful and it’s appreciated by all.”

Alexandre Mattiussi described Van Noten as a role model. “Since I fell in love with fashion, Dries was one of a kind, someone I always observed, I always respected. He’s a master for me, for colors, for fabrics, for attitude, for allure, for everything,” he said. 

“He’s for me the perfect success story in fashion, staying very discreet, working hard, making people happy, because I think he has a huge fan base forever,” Mattiussi added. 

Van Assche expressed a tinge of sorrow that fashion was losing one of its most singular designers.

“A Dries show is a very particular show. There is no other show like his, and I think that is actually a little bit the thing with fashion right now, it needs strong personalities, so I can only regret that he won’t be there. But then I’m also thinking that he would take care of what happens next, so maybe there’s hope,” he said. 

Van Noten’s brand will continue under the aegis of Spanish fashion and fragrance group Puig, which acquired the label in 2018.

“Dries was definitely a designer that made me want to become a designer,” Van Assche continued. “When I was at the Academy, I used to walk by his store, even sometimes run into him in the street, so you would know that the level was high. I mean, it shows what’s been done in Antwerp before, so he definitely pushed me to try to become a better me.” 

Despite the inevitable reminiscing, designers admired Van Noten for controlling his own destiny. “It’s his decision, so it can only be right,” Van Assche said.

– With contributions from Alex Badia



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