PARIS, Jun 29, 2008 / FW/ — This is my first Dior Homme show since Hedi Slimane left. Quite frankly, I miss Hedi, but I can also honestly say that the new direction Kris Van Assche is taking for Dior Homme is taking the label into an entirely new level.
I still remember the first time I ever saw Kris Van Assche, in his debut collection in Paris. His name was new on the list, but with KCD handling both front of house and back of house, I already figured he must be an important upcoming talent. I was right.
Though it was a debut collection for the Kris Van Assche label in the official Paris menswear calendar, all the important editors were there, with Suzy Menkes of IHT first on the list. The buzz around the young designer did not disappoint. To use the vernacular, Kris Van Assche had me at hello. I was an instant devoted fan.
When Hedi Slimane left Dior Homme, I was very sad for I truly like the guy. When LVMH announced in March 2007 that Kris Van Assche was Hedi’s replacement, my first thought was that it was a logical choice. But, when I was not invited to his debut collection at Dior Homme (June 2007), I felt left out.
I continued to support Kris Van Assche by attending his shows for his eponymous label. I figured that I will be invited again soon at Dior Homme. Hence, when I received the Dior Homme invitation for this season, I knew that my patience paid off.
First thing I noticed was the ‘magical’ venue. It was as if I step into the set of ‘The Chronicles of Narnja’ but real and more grown up. As I passed through antique telescopes and sepia toned photos at the Paris Observatory, my first thought wn as ‘how poetic!’ Dior Homme, the epitome of urban cool now has the heart of a poet named Kris Van Assche.
The clothes have changed also. From Hedi Slimane’s pencil thin silhouettes, Kris Van Assche is now adding volume to the still predominantly slim shapes. Black is still the dominant color, but there is the metallic fuchsia blouson, metallic brown tuxedo jacket, and golden raincoat in nylon.
It’s still the ‘man about town,’ or should we say ‘guy about town’ because the collection is meant for the 20-something generation who knows the hottest clubs in town. And the rappers could not out-bling him either; just that, instead of wearing it on his neck, the bling are on his pants, making one ask, is there a sexual connotation to that?
The must-have item in the collection – the laser cut-out shirt and / or leather biker jacket. Those are already collector’s items the moment they came out of the runway.
And oh, for those who are big music fans, the background music was a mix of songs by French singing duo Justice.