Dior's men dazzle with elegant austerity
The huge drapes hanging to form a bright white circle in the middle of a disused warehouse promised a show of contradictions from Dior's new collection Saturday at Paris fashion week.
It was confirmed when Belgian Kris Van Assche, artistic director at Dior Homme since 2007, unveiled an elegant but austere spring-summer collection set against a most dazzling and spectacular backdrop.
To the rhythm of a pounding soundtrack of violins and drums, the models first appeared as ghostly shadows behind the illuminated drapes before emerging in black or grey suits, tunics and capes with very few frills.
It was an "elegant" collection with "zero vulgarity," German couture supremo and head designer for Chanel Karl Lagerfeld told AFP after the show, while his model and current muse Baptiste Giabiconi called it "very nice".
The man on the street that Van Assche had said he took inspiration from for his own collection also unveiled this week was replaced by a more regal, lofty incarnation for Dior.
The models wore floating black satin shirts and suits, many without collars and often cut boldly without a visible hem, sometimes at the shoulders or with a large slit at the front.
The loose suit trousers finished at the ankle also allowed full sight of the Roman-style black leather sandals.
Dior's man, modelled by the same group who do most of the 47 shows over the four days in Paris, was made to look thin and vulnerable, protected by the stern elegance of the clothes.
"He has chosen quite slender models, but the garments are cut very well, they fall well. It's a choice," Giabiconi said, adding he preferred "more manly men."
© 2010 AFP