Mood board: Flashes of New Wave and a sportif élan are at the core of everything Kris van Assche does. During his nine-year tenure at Dior, he has created a language that is always athletic in its approach to formal tailoring and modern with its play on traditional craftsmanship techniques. For S/S, Assche focused on his formative years in a collection that embodied ‘a remix of shared boyhood memories.’ The textile suggested clothes that might have been once lost or loved – pinstripes were interrupted and frayed, knits were scarred and houndstooth blurred. Japanese artist Toru Kamei’s arcane floral paintings appeared as patches on sleeveless shirts and slim trousers, as if markings of a misspent youth.
Best in show: Assche talked backstage about a cocktail of style tribes he explored growing up in rural Belgium. Punk, New Wave and New Romanticism have each influenced this season’s playful polish. The silhouette is more relaxed and richly offhand; new proportions for suiting such as jogging or wide-legged trousers with work-wear pocket detailing were paired with smart two-button jackets.
Scene setting: The attitude of Haçienda youth pumped throughout the industrial space at the Tennis Club de Paris. Guests were seated around a sprawling mass of rollercoaster tracks, festooned with coloured lights in a set that was said to be a direct replica of a ride that once stood at Sinksenfoor Antwerp – a traditional Belgian fairground.