It’s been a decade since Kris Van Assche took over the creative reins of Dior Homme and in that time, the Belgian fashion designer has slowly shaped the Dior Homme man as one who enjoys sharp, yet edgy tailoring and prefers a bit of dark romanticism with his masculinity. The Spring 2018 collection is more of the same but this time, Van Assche has also thrown in youthful athletic elements together with his Hardior text motif.
The usually monochromatic palette is livened up with dashes of colour, including petrol green, vermillion red and grey marle, in part to reflect the wave of optimism that seems to be pervading the globe after an extended period of pessimism brought about by economic gloom and geopolitical tension.
A familiar motif returns from the past. Perhaps buoyed by the popularity of Dior Homme’s collaboration with artist Toru Kamei, which saw the latter’s signature array of skulls, decaying flowers and other gothic images plastered all over the 2017 spring/summer collection, Van Assche brings back the white roses from the spring/summer 2016 collection and turns them into an embroidered badge, aptly named Dioroses.
Running down the length on the sleeve of a bomber jacket. Plastered prominently on a pair of slim black denim jeans. Liberally planted over the latest batch of bags and accessories. Van Assche makes sure that Dioroses bloom everywhere. We were huge fans of Kamei’s work with Dior Homme and we’re certainly liking this motif as well.
This season’s black carpet collection is also stunning in its disregard for today’s rules of formality. While most of the collection celebrates youthful irreverence, Van Assche decides to mix the formal aesthetics of the 20s and 30s exemplified by the tail coat and cummerbund with the lily of the valley flower. Once again, it’s that subtle hint of dark rebellion that the Dior Homme man will like.
And finally, Van Assche interprets the Canadian tuxedo, adding a touch of fur to the collar of the denim jacket to break up the silhouette and somehow making the number two style no-no (after brown belt with black shoes) of wearing denim on denim work. The key, as seen on Van Assche’s look is by pairing it with a white shirt.
Some might say it’s more of the same from Kris Van Assche but with a multitude of fashion brands going bigger and louder, it’s refreshing to see Dior Homme still focus on details and subtlety while evolving for a social media generation. It’s the sign of a brand that fully understands its identity but not being stuck in the past.