Attending Kris Van Assche’s first show for his now-defunct eponymous label at the Espace Commines back in 2005, it was obvious that he had client-pleasing on his mind, that he was no “three-sleeve jacket designer.” Eleven years later, ensconced in his plum job at Dior Homme (quite a feat in an era of designer musical chairs), he still basically has the same message. His shows don’t contain concepts that few understand.
For spring 2017, he summoned all the elements that make up the profile of a renegade: harnesses on trim suits or checked shirts, ankle boots, fishnet tops, a palette dominated by black and hazard-warning red, plus black nail polish on ultra-skinny boys who darted through a colorful carnival set.
There were recurring allusions to alteration and disintegration, notably with red overstitches on black suits, or forming brick walls on what looked like jeans. There were also suits adorned with patches sporting flowers, some others were invaded by strings and eyelets, bringing to mind sneakers gone berserk. The parade ended with beautiful suits with thin dangling threads, leaving the impression of wilting pinstripes.
Besides displaying fine craftsmanship, the show was fast and easy to watch. You left totally unthreatened by these Avenue Montaigne punks. The Dior homme is way too tidy to be a true outcast.