Dior Homme A/W 2018
New Romantics meets New Wave at Kris Van Assche’s 90s youth culture-inspired offering for Dior Homme
Mood board: Kris Van Assche is faithful to his tight list of references: early 90s youth culture as experienced through the eyes of a teenager growing up in the Belgian countryside. There’s an obsessive, almost fanatical return to the look and mood every season. For A/W18, Van Assche wanted to make the camel coat more street. He was also thinking about how New Romantics might meet New Wave. The mood inside the Grand Palais was filled with the bite of New Beat – the style of Belgian underground music and subculture that fused techno and acid genres – and the spirit of the New Look.
Best in show: A series of glitchy moody films of models walking through the floors of 30 Avenue Montaigne were released on Instagram in the run up to the show – the atelier logo laid over a tribal tattoo motif. It is a graphic emblem of rave culture, scaled up and repeated in an all overprint. Dior Homme has a nineties indie nonchalance that contrasts with the lofty couture ambience of the maison. There was some strong black suiting; flashes of white lining the edges. Wide leg denim with short leather jackets; a striped vest worn over a matching polo neck in stripe jersey. Youth and maturity; street savoir-faire.
Scene setting: For S/S17, Villa Eugénie designed a looping rollercoaster studded with multicoloured lights. The setting for A/W18 recalled the same theme in the form of a deconstructed fairground: what looked like illuminations from a suburban funfair were boxed up in glass cases running down the catwalk. Models walked to Forever Young – the 1984 track by German rock group Alphaville. The boxes gradually filled with smoke as the show went on and culminated in the bulbs being trapped behind a light, distant kaleidoscopic haze. Just like the end of a night, or the start of a new day.