Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Francis Bacon Collection (2009) by Dries Van Noten

"He once designed a collection based on the work of the painter Francis Bacon that mixed together colors such as mustard, pale lilac and 'shrimp'.  It did not sell as he'd hoped.  But he said it's still one of his favorite collections."

"Van Noten had taken the shades of Francis Bacon's paintings – shrimp pink, beige, ocher, orange and mauve – and deployed them in a way that gave life to pieces that might have seemed boring in other hands."

"Every one of Van Noten's shows forces these reconsiderations, but my favorite is probably his fall 2009 ready-to-wear women's collection . . . each hue dyed to just the point where it almost became some other color altogether: a claret-y red-purple sweater above a lichen-y blue-green skirt; a peachy pink-orange skirt worn beneath a grassy gold-green shirt."

"When I started to work on the collection, I went to the exhibition of Francis Bacon in London, and when I came out of that exhibition I was really completely in shock, and for me I didn't know any more if I've seen now the most beautiful thing and the most ugly thing, in which I could see my life.  I was really kind of upset about the beauty and ugliness at the same time, and I wanted to translate this feeling which I felt  also in a collection."

"I think I never went so far in using colors.  They really looked like paintings of Bacon, which we translated in fabric, and a lot of work went into finding the right shine of fabric, like the dullness of certain fabrics, to have the right feeling in these things.  Some people of the press absolutely loved it, other people of the press absolutely hated it.  Suzy Menkes invented even a new word for a color, so she calls one of the colors which we used 'rotten shrimp' – so it was really to show that she didn't like so much what she saw on the catwalk.  And also the customers didn't react very well, so it was a collection that was one of the most tough ones to sell in stores."