Dior Homme F/W 2017
From New Wave to Late Night Rave
The cast in Dior Homme’s latest runway show was a divided gang. A strictly tailored sleek silhouette up top met below the waist dance machines – starting from New Wave and finishing with a Rave Party.
Practically celebrity gridlock in the front row, where Bono and Ali Hewson sat beside luxury emperor Bernard Arnault. Along the aisle from Karl Lagerfeld, one noticed Asap Rocky, Boy George, Rami Malek, Lewis Hamilton and Pierre Niney, famed for portraying Yves Saint Laurent (a Dior couturier in his day).
This was designer Kris Van Assche’s best expression of tough chic. He even laid the tagline Hardior across a rough wooden floor catwalk in the Grand Palais and kitted out this classical location with metal bleachers, just like one would see at a stadium rave.
His opening suits evoked The Jam – chalk-stripe numbers with micro ties and shortened pants – finished with black rubber chains bearing tiny little bears, among other oddities. Worn on a raggedly haired cast with massive mirror shades and white trimmed bovver boots this was definitely hard chic. All very New Wave, until the arrival of some defiant furs – most brilliantly a sleeveless manteaux in a washed out turquoise that screamed magazine cover! Or, Let the Rave begin.
Add in some sensational suits dissected with gros grain like Mexican bandoliers. And a couple of cashmere sweaters with photos of Monsieur Dior done in Day-glow colors, as if this man known for his love of gardening had somehow stumbled into the Rex at 4AM. These carried the phrase “They Should Just Let Us Rave.”
Like a lot of talented designers, Van Assche has succumbed to the lure of an Instagram generation where banal plays on words are somehow considered pithy pearls of wisdom. Milan runways were gorged with this sort of trite script. One even saw it at Valentino in Paris, albeit courtesy of Punk graphic artist Jamie Reid. Superficially it’s a fun trend, but during a weekend which has seen Donald Trump being inaugurated with a stump speech viciously attacking the fourth estate it can only be described as depressing that fashion designers in Europe – an intelligent, sensitive and decent bunch – are reduced to sticking glib phrases on their clothes in order to make them more commercial.