The Tennis Club on the Périphérique — that serves as the Dior Homme venue each season — was in total darkness, with a floor-to-ceiling black curtain flanked by security. The great reveal saw the curtain lifting slowly to the strains of an orchestra that sat along the full length of the runway, playing a specially commissioned version of Koudlam’s Landsc Apes. All of the musicians wore tuxedos with white sneakers, as if they were ready to make a sharp exit at any moment. It was an unusually theatrical twist for Dior Homme designer Kris Van Assche, and a refreshing break from the norm at the men’s shows.
The collection was more formal than we’ve come to expect. “I started with an idea of the sartorial with hyper-formality of the evening tail suit and the dinner suit,” stated Van Assche. “Here, I wanted to bring formality into the world of the technical and utilitarian, to produce a techno-sartorial collection.” This is a familiar game for him to play, but one that he always manages to dazzle. The exquisite tuxedos are sure to be all over the red carpets, and the collection’s evolution — that saw leather jogging bottoms, full-length duster coats, color-blocked soles on the chunky sneakers, and some clever detailing with ruched waistbands on pinstripe trousers — will keep the customers’ appetites sated.
Monsieur Dior’s own presence was felt in the floral touches on badges pinned to the fronts of jackets, the floral jacquards, and the flashes of bright color here and there. “He’s the Homme Fleur,” said Van Assche backstage, in deference, even if his 21st-century man likes to get his hands dirty at times.