Dior Homme S/S 2016

Tailoring meets Camouflage

Mixing metaphors, military, classicism with a smart blend of street chic, Kris Van Assche presented what was almost certainly his most accomplished spring collection to date for the house of Christian Dior. Van Assche played with a plethora of classics and ideas – from Argyle to summer plaids, from baseball jackets to traditional suiting – but gave them all just the right amount of modernist spin.

Plus, his tailoring was spot on. Skinny pants with a new elongated jacket for a look that was full of confidence. Or several nicely over the top eight-button elephant-size pants worn with nipped-in at the waist jackets.

Dior Homme’s sportswear in Argyle  Dior Homme
Dior Homme’s sportswear in Argyle

Van Assche’s has often lacked sufficiently self-editing discipline. But not this season, with his careful injections of camouflage; as interior lining of parkas to the trim of computer bags made for the perfect prescription.

“It’s all about codes, mixing new ones with old ones,” commented Van Assche in the backstage. He balanced the new and old all the way to the footwear – where his ergonomic marriages of monks gents shoes or polished up Timberlands jelled brilliantly into the sleekest new sneakers.

The new jacket, beautifully elongated, shows that Van Assche is a master tailor Dior Homme
The new jacket, beautifully elongated, shows that Van Assche is a master tailor

In a triumphant day for Belgium, Kris fellow Belgian Raf Simons, attended his first Dior menswear runway, embracing Van Assche post-show. Van Assche recently shelved his own signature house, and his increased focus on Dior was apparent. But it’s important to realize what a commercial success he has been as well. Hats off to the man for that. We hear he sells nearly 10,000 suits a season.

Even the bomber jacket gets a new spin with floral patches Dior Homme
Even the bomber jacket gets a new spin with floral patches

Milling around backs post-show were an eclectic gang from owner Bernard Arnault, Pierre Niney (the actor in the less critically acclaimed biopic of YSL), Marisa Berensen and of course Karl Lagerfeld, who shoots Dior Homme ad campaigns. “I don’t look at this show as an editor. I am not a critic. I look at it as a customer, and I found there was lots to wear,” trumpeted Karl Lagerfeld, attired in a midnight blue redingote from Dior and a 1910 Cartier blue sapphire brooch.