Designer DRIES VAN NOTEN Can Make 36 Jars of Jam in 2–3 Hours


Leading up to his womenswear F/W 2014 show, DRIES VAN NOTEN speaks with Vanessa Friedman about his upcoming exhibition, Inspirations, at the Louvre’s Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The exhibition will feature 180 Van Noten pieces plus 100 paintings, garments, and clips from outside collections, including works by artists Francis Bacon, Kees van Dongen, and Elizabeth Peyton; filmmakers Jean Cocteau, Luchino Visconti, and Stanley Kubrick; and fashion designers Christian Dior, Thierry Mugler, and Elsa Schiaparelli. The challenge for Van Noten was how to bring to life what his brand does without being didactic, as well as how to reign in his kaleidoscopic imagination to create a visual story that makes sense. To relax and calm his nerves, we find out, Van Noten makes jam:

“Well, I was worried about whether we would have enough time to do it all,” acknowledges Van Noten. “It’s why I like jam.” What? I ask. “MAKING JAM; it’s what I do to relax,” he says, wiping his mouth carefully on his napkin as the waitress clears our plates and brings his dessert and our coffees.

“We have a big garden at our house, and we grow a lot of fruits and vegetables,” says Van Noten. “I think I know 50 different ways to prepare courgettes now. And when I get very stressed, I make jam. I like things that produce a quick result, because fashion has such a long lead time. With jam, you start, and two-three hours later, you have 36 little pots, all full.” That’s a lot of jam, I observe. He shrugs. “The vegetable garden is three acres.”

Via Financial Times

Dries Van Noten – Inspirations opens March 1 at Musée des Arts Décoratifs and is on view until August 31, 2014.