Dior Homme presentation was our final few events in our itinerary before we enjoyed the city of Paris sans the feeling of being caught up rushing to fashion shows. After braving through the sloshes of snow (it was heel-deep) on a Sunday morning, and almost got lost in the midst of searching in between similar-looking weathered buildings, we finally found the presentation venue - tucked in between of unassuming office buildings...
Kris Van Assche has been designing for Dior Homme for six years now and is well-known for his streamlined silhouettes with a touch of futurism. For autumn winter 2103 he has chosen to “look to the future in an optimistic way” with a collection inspired by the 1997 sci-fi flick Gattaca. This may sound simplistic but I could sense such similarity in both of the costume designed by Colleen Atwood in the movie (who has impressively won three Academy Awards for Best Costume Design) and with Van Assche's creations - structurally tailored minimalism (but of course KVA's clever play on athletic and military influences is undeniable).
We were not invited to the runway show but WWD did mention the 'clinical' feel of the presentation - a set replete with blindingly white vinyl with a thumping of the techno thud of Anne Clark’s "Our Darkness", which I guess would compliment the thematic feel of the clothes. Venturing into details I noticed silver clasped belts adorning certain parts of the garments - as rows of buckles on the jacket, as a waist-cinching mechanism on the anorak, and even a tiny version of it was present as a shirt collar fastener. The other futuristic element (despite being a bit Star-Trek-ish) was the red embroidered insignia - a mysterious triangle and circle motif, which is discretely incorporated into the linings as well.
The accessories expectedly echo the scrubbed-clean looks of the clothes, with space boots-like footwear (a recurring look that caught my eye since KVA took the reins as the artistic director at Dior Homme), sleek Derby shoes with innovative rubber soles (if you look closely there's another sole within the outer transparent rubber covering), and, my personal favorite - double monk-straps with mini silver clasped buckles! To complete it off bags and wallets are also incorporated with that similar feel of shiny hardware.
It feels that Kris Van Assche has been designing for the young in mind, and this is probably where Dior Homme is heading to marketing-wise, especially in the burgeoning Asian luxury market (the fact that Dior Homme boutiques, in Paris at least, offers garments specifically in Asian sizes represents such fiscal importance). I personally like the combination of the athletic/militia and streamlined futurism, a silhouette that I think can go beyond seasons.
Words by Hafidzudin Zainal