>> Belgian fashion legend Dries Van Noten talked about his life and his work Thursday night at the French Institute Alliance Francaise's final Fashion Talk, giving the audience a little insight into the way his brain works.
Van Noten touched on a range of subjects, from the unique relationship he has with his creations to what it was like going to design school at Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Below, some of our favorite quotes from the talks.
On fashion school: "Going to fashion school in the '70s, it was really difficult to be judged by a [teacher] who said, like, 'No short skirts, only pants,' or, 'You can do short skirts, but then you have to cover the knees with stockings,' and things like that . . . 'Long hair is untidy, so it had to be all chignon or short hair.' 'Jeans are for poor people.' So, that was our teacher. So, in fact, when you have so many restrictions, you have to be enormously creative."
On his clothing: "I'm more inspired by things which I don't like . . . nothing is so boring as something beautiful. I prefer ugly things, I prefer things which are surprising . . . You force yourself to ask yourself questions. Quite often I make a collection and I say, 'Here's a color I really don't like.' . . . My assistants will say 'OK, you don't like lilac,' [that means] this season will be lilac."
On runway presentations: "Fashion shows are really my way of communication. I don't go on Twitter, I don't go to parties, I don't often do fashion talks like this. So for me, it's really what I want to communicate. It's the end of the story . . . So the venue, the light, the location, the sound, the hair, the makeup, all makes it for me. You have 10 minutes to explain to your audience what you're doing, what you want to tell. So everything has to be perfect."
On fast fashion: "That's one of the disadvantages of modern technology. It's so fast, that it's already like, a few minutes after the show, on the Internet, you have like, the shoe's details from the back, side, front. It makes it easy sometimes . . . I think it's the reality. I don't want to live in the old world, like 35, 30 years ago when people had prêt-à-porter and that was it. I think fast fashion is good. I think modern people combine vintage with designer clothes, with a piece they buy at Zara or other stores — why not?"