For his swansong, the former Creative Director of Dior Homme, Kris Van Assche questions the duality of youth and age; with youth, the freedom to embody an ideal with reckless abandon, whereas with age, a sense of looking from the outside in.

The Winter 2018/2019 collection provokes a constant evolution of the formal and informal codes that define menswear today, through a meticulous deconstruction of the Dior Homme suit that finds symbiosis with the symbolism of 90s tattoo culture, as well as pitching the sartorial finesse of the Dior Homme atelier against the tenets of urban nostalgia.

Before his very final bow at the end of the runway show, following his 10-year tenure with the fashion house, Van Assche renders homage to the intricate patternmaking of Monsieur Dior: sophisticated variations on the Bar jacket are a testament to the house ‘savoir-faire’, with tailored black grain-de-poudre wool, and sculpted suit jackets bearing slotted lapels, patch pockets and double-breasted officer’s buttons.

The spiked tattoo motif emerges as a graphic rave totem buoyed its extreme elegance against a singular heraldic device or an all-over print, whereas stacked proportions are augmented through high pleated trousers in suiting wools or washed denim worn beneath cropped nylon parkas, duffel coats, rugged shearlings, and technical windcheaters.

In palettes of forest green, crimson, and safety yellow, the trompe l’oeil layering of classic knit polo shirts, tank tops and turtleneck sweaters, create ironic compositions of a teenage wardrobe, juxtaposed with structured trench and overcoat shapes in bonded cashmere.

The season’s theme is mirrored upon the new Dior combo bag that clips together as multiple zipped compartments on a cross-shoulder strap, as well as exotic luggage with an opulent corporate flair. Finally, the footwear range includes laser-printed tattoo brogues and canvas hi-tops, grounding the silhouette’s street-versus-sartorial axis, reflecting the eternal call-and-repeat of youth and manhood.

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