One of the most fascinating exhibitions in Paris right now can be found at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Dries Van Noten: Inspirations. It’s not quite a career retrospective, nor even a fashion exhibition, but rather, a show about the creative process of the brilliant Belgian designer himself. Contained within some 15,000 square feet, it feels remarkably intimate in its vast, two level space. The content itself, more than 400 pieces, feels intimate too — a first-time invitation into the world of Dries Van Noten and his tremendous array of inspiration which includes film, photography, fine art, music, nature and fashion, from multiple centuries and multiple countries. Cecil Beaton, Bronzino, Elizabeth Peyton, Jacques-Émile Blanche, Paul Poiret, Francis Bacon, Balenciaga. Van Noten’s far-ranging stylistic references are another important element in the installation such as feathers, butterflies, Orientalism, India and the uniform. And I loved David Michalek’s Slow Dancing film, with his wife Wendy Whelan as one of the featured performers, a special commission for this exhibition.

Dries Van Noten: Inspirations runs through August 31, 2014