My Bowie: Dries Van Noten

3.20.2013

By Dries Van Noten

How he figured out how to meld his own design codes with Bowie's aesthetic

I remember seeing Bowie for the first time on Dutch television when I was a young man. He performed “Rebel Rebel,” and it’s an image and an emotion that I will never forget. I’ve always greatly admired his creative strength, his courage, and his integrity. He has been prominent yet discreet, avant-garde yet rock ’n’ roll, harsh yet gentle, without sitting on a throne of paradox or juxtaposition. Later on, in 2011, I took inspiration from his Thin White Duke stage outfits for my menswear collection. I wanted to see how his aesthetic might meld with my own codes as a designer. It went so far that only a few days before the show, I decided that all the models should have Bowie-esque red hair and be as pale as he was at the time. For the soundtrack I used “Golden Years,” one of my favorite Bowie songs. For the women’s presentation that same season, I used patterns and colors from his Ziggy Stardust era and had the models walk to a remix of “Heroes,” which I think is one of the most passionate songs ever made.

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