PARIS–What does it say when the crowd is more abuzz about Karl Lagerfeld, and, ugh, Puff Daddy, than the clothes? That’s the question I was fretting over before the Dior presentation. But by the end, I was reminded that it’s not a crowd that makes a collection.
Kriss Van Assche’s line for Dior Homme is a study in clean lines and exact silhouettes. I’ve already used the Jedi metaphor, and the Amish one, but Van Assche’s Dior really merits the same comparisons, except more flowing; this is Jedi School; Amish adolescents. Many of his looks were incredibly loose, and free, despite their attempted adhesion to Van Assche’s calculated silhouettes and restrained, almost sullen palette of gray, black and brown (and like, many others this season, one or two points of red…as if a touch of blood is needed to indicate a pulse). The Amish hats said “I’m going to study in silence,” while the layered wools and billowing pants said “I’m seventeen and it’s time for Rumspringa!”
The collection was presented in a gigantic hall, nearly empty except for six lucite chandeliers and several white fireplaces against the rear wall. The room said, “Come party, but quietly. Enjoy the champagne, but only one glass. Dance, but only in step.” And the clothes echoed these sentiments. One of my pet peeves with apparel in general, from jeans to knits are bells and whistles. I almost immediately dismiss any lily I consider gilded. There is no chance of that with Van Assche’s work. Forget bells and whistles, forget flair and fanfare, there’s barely any noise at all.
It’s a gloved caress. A kind assassin. Let’s call it beautiful quiet.
**Photos by Imaxtree.