A stark white vinyl runway provided a futuristic setting for Kris Van Assche’s Dior Homme show.
The clean white outer-space-like atmosphere allowed the designer to ponder what’s next for Dior Homme. He pared down the classic single-breasted suits into form fitting silhouettes that wrapped around each models’ body. Fine zippers replaced buttons to ensure tight closures of jackets and coats. But it wasn’t the extra-tight fitted looks of the mid oughts–this time the jackets were a bit looser around the waist and had stronger shoulders.
There was a military feel to the whole collection, a sense of a uniform: Clean lines, and proportions delineated by zipper and belts. The colorblocked suits in the middle of the show seemed out of place. And as for the significance of the triangle inside the circle print that appeared on sweatshirts and blazers? That’s anyone’s guess.
Men’s fashion moves at a snail’s pace. History and heritage figure predominantly into the references of the classic male wardrobe. How to drive this behemoth forward in a creative manner has never been an easy road.
While many of the attendees at Paris’s men’s shows welcome a more outrageous and avant-garde approach to dressing, they are not representative of today’s menswear customers. The focus and challenge of major designer brands today is to produce these key items at a luxury price level that appeal to a broad range of men. At this level, ‘fashion’ and clothes aren’t necessarily the same.
Dior Homme grows out of the house’s women couture heritage where the emphasis is on tailoring.
Here clothes are not made for the two-dimensional image but for consumers. Subtle design and quality fabrications are the fundamentals that do change in men’s fashion. Looking at this show from this perspective, Van Assche accomplished his mission in providing what his customers demand at retail with a refined touch of space-age.