Dries Van Noten’s most memorable looks, as the Belgian fashion designer steps down

Dries Van Noten’s Most Memorable Looks, As The Belgian Fashion Designer Steps Down
Florence Pugh, © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Prudence Wade, PA

After 38 years, Belgian designer Dries Van Noten is stepping down as creative director of his namesake fashion brand.

“In the early ’80s, as a young guy in Antwerp, my dream was to have a voice in fashion. Through a journey that brought me to London, Paris, and beyond, and with the help of countless supportive people, that dream has come true. Now, I want to shift my focus to all the things I never had the time for,” Van Noten, 65, wrote in a letter posted to his Instagram.



He will step down at the end of June. His last official collection will be the next menswear spring/summer 2025 collection, set to show in Paris in June, and Van Noten added: “The women’s spring/summer 2025 collection will be made by my studio team with whom I have been working very closely during all these years. I have full confidence that they will do a great job.”

This doesn’t mark the end of the Dries Van Noten fashion brand. Instead, a new creative director will be announced in due course, and Van Noten said he will “stay involved in the House that I treasure so much”.



Van Noten graduated from the fashion design course at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Belgium in 1981 and debuted his first collection five years later. He opened his flagship store in Antwerp in 1989, and became part of ‘The Antwerp Six’ – a collective of Belgian creatives who were changing the face of fashion, including Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee.

He made his debut at Paris Fashion Week in 1991 with a menswear collection, following two years later with womenswear, fast becoming a mainstay on the schedule. Fashion firm Puig acquired a majority share in the brand in 2018.


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A post shared by Dries Van Noten (@driesvannoten)

Over the years, Van Noten has built up a reputation as a quietly experimental fashion designer. He blends the old with the new in his designs and plays around with silhouette – particularly seen in the ballooning, oversized shapes of coats and sleeves at his recent Paris Fashion Week show in February.

Florals are a recurring theme in his clothes, with Van Noten saying he was often inspired by the flowers in his own garden.

While Van Noten’s work isn’t a red carpet mainstay like some of the other major brands on the Paris Fashion Week calendar, when celebrities do choose to wear his designs, they certainly make an impact.

Florence Pugh
Florence Pugh (Matt Crossick/PA)

Florence Pugh was nominated for a BAFTA for her role as Amy March in Little Women back in 2020, and she brought a welcome splash of colour to the red carpet in her pink and black Van Noten creation.

A fuchsia dress-meets-cape was worn over a black mini dress, with the voluminous sleeves and bow detailing giving a subtle nod to Amy March’s fashion.

Margot Robbie
Margot Robbie (Matt Crossick/PA)

Pink and black was evidently central to Van Noten’s work in 2020, as Margot Robbie also wore that colour combination to the London premiere of Birds Of Prey the same year.

Her full black skirt was paired with a feathered bralette – tapping into the trend for underwear as outerwear – and worn with hot pink opera gloves.

Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett (Alamy/PA)

Cate Blanchett chose to wear Dries Van Noten to the Oscars in 2008, when she was pregnant with her third child, Ignatius.

The midnight blue satin-look gown had an empire line to fit her bump and gold accents – particularly in the form of sequinned flowers on the skirt.

Kirsten Dunst
Kirsten Dunst (Alamy/PA)

In a more recent red carpet example of Van Noten florals, Kirsten Dunst wore an elegant gown with purple flowers and green leaves to the Baby2Baby Gala in November 2023.

Noomi Rapace
Noomi Rapace (Alamy/PA)

In May 2022, Noomi Rapace wore one of the less understated Van Noten creations to the Cannes Film Festival: a navy and white floral print dress with dramatic oversized sleeves and statement red gloves.

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