Taking place in the majestic Garde Républicaine, Kris Van Assche’s Dior Homme show was rife with expectation, preceding the first men’s outing from Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent. Slimane, of course, reinvented Dior Homme in the early aughts, pushing a skinny silhouette on mankind that still hasn’t left our collective psyche. Van Assche took this silhouette to its extreme with razor-sharp tailoring and nary a pucker or crease in sight.
The setting was suitably retro-futuristic, too, swathed in white plastic recalling the 90’s sci-fi classic Gattaca, with double staircases above the entrance that enabled the models to circle back over the heads of the audience. The classic 1984 electro song Our Darkness, by Anne Clark, blared from the speakers, mimicking the models’ attitude with lyrics like “Everybody has a weapon to fight you with, to beat you with when you are down.”
As a whole the collection was minimalist perfection, with buttons replaced by concealed zips, and waists cinched by concealed belts with exposed stainless-steel clasp fastenings. Coats were fitted as to resemble long jackets, and the layers were imperceptible. The sole print recurred several times before coming out on an army of boys to a heavy bass: a delineated triangle inside of a circle, a sacred sign of geometry symbolizing creation and eternity. Van Assche knows the legacy of Dior Homme, and can play with its forms effortlessly, constantly tweaking the timeless formula.