• Text Tempe Nakiska
  • Photography ALEXANDRE SALLÉ DE CHOU
  • 28th June 2015

Ultimate duality

Christian Dior revelled in flowers. The Lily of the Valley was his talisman, a motif he wove through his collections and a thread that Kris Van Assche continues at Dior Homme today.

Last season it was there subtly in the floral pins that pricked suit lapels, this time we couldn’t escape it. You wouldn’t want to – Van Assche invited us to a contemporary jardin à la française spilling with 2000 Fée des Neiges flowering with white rose bushes, the set doubled in size by a mammoth mirror at the back wall. It created a kind of duality of vision, one that aptly reflects the one that runs strong through Van Assche’s work at Dior, binding the tradition of tailoring with the modernity of sportswear in a tight future-ode to Monsieur Dior and the men his legacy stands for today.

The collection felt fresh, based in stark white it branched out with Van Assche’s seasonal statement, here reinterpreting military codes via khaki camo patterning and naval blues and a reigniting of the MA1 bomber in the vivid orange – the colour originally of these uniform pieces’ linings. Also the sharp shots of silver zip that slashed the front of trousers just above the ankle and thigh. On one suit jacket they split horizontally, almost slapdash in their placement with near Punk effect.

It was a buzzing clash of now and then, tradition subverted with absolute finesse. Monsieur Dior once wrote that traditions have to be treasured: “In troubled times like ours, we must maintain these traditions, which are our luxury and the flower of our civilization.” It’s a sentiment Van Assche holds close (last season these exact words were reproduced as a scrawl print on a shirt and suit jacket), carrying with him as he presents the Dior Homme men want to walk out the door in tomorrow. As the models zigzagged their way through yesterday’s rose garden their mirrored reflections were a reminder of the play-off that keeps clothes exciting.