Well, this was a pleasant surprise! Today Christian Lacroix returned to the runway, having helped Dries Van Noten with his Spring 2020 collection. According to the show notes, Van Noten was interested in runway styles from the ’80s and ’90s this season. “I found myself needing exuberance, opulence, another volume and fun!” Van Noten explained, mentioning a specific interest of couture during the period. “I quickly realized that all roads seemed to lead to the work and world of Mr. Christian Lacroix. So, after little deliberation, I thought why not just phone him, why not phone Christian and ask if he would be up for the challenge and enjoy working with me on a collection. I was so happy when he immediately said: yes.”
Each of the designers styles are immediately recognizable — Lacroix’s volume and drama, Van Notan’s exquisite patterns, textiles, and tailoring. With such clearly complimentary strong suits it’s a wonder they hadn’t thought to partner up sooner. But then again, at heart they are very different designers, with one being a couture heavyweight, and the other being a celebrated contemporary force. “I admire Dries and was sometimes jealous of him because he has a kind of modernity,” Lacroix says in an accompanying interview. “I was very excited when I was invited and am very happy to now be closer to him, to have seen how he works.”
“It’s not [an homage to Lacroix],” Van Noten clarifies. “It is a collection for now and I really wanted to make a perfect blend of our two worlds. Christian was much more than a living mood board. He was really there. Because of course this collection is a little bit out of our comfort zone. It’s an evolution of what we normally do. We joked sometimes, sitting around a table and when Christian wasn’t there, we’d say: Christian, talk to us, how would you do it?
“Everything today is so branded, so focused, so edited that it was nice for me to see whether one designer could work with another on a collection,” he continued. “It’s so different to how people look at a house now, to a brand, to an ego, and that for me was not important this time. For me, instead of doing an homage I had the opportunity to actually work with Christian.”
“It might have been even more relevant if I was still in the fashion business,” Lacroix added. “If the house of Lacroix existed, the coming together of two houses, that would be utopia.”
See the full collection below.