Dior designer celebrates decade at helm at Paris menswear
PARIS (AP) — Celebrating a decade at the creative helm of Dior Homme on Saturday, designer Kris Van Assche held court with Christian Slater, Jamie Bell and Kata Mara at his catwalk collection that paid homage to the iconic Dior suit.
Here are some highlights of the spring-summer 2018 menswear collections at Paris Fashion Week.
It was the suit, but not as we know it.
Retracing the origins of Dior Homme without a hint of nostalgia, 41-year-old Belgian designer Van Assche took the house’s bread-and-butter two-piece and deconstructed it to produce an edgy, celebratory show.
Tailored in black Ottoman, the new double-breasted blazer was cut with an exaggeratedly nipped waist in a retro style. Long sleeveless coats had surreally bulbous hips and tail coats were cut on the bias.
“I’ve been here for 10 years now and I wanted to play with the DNA of the brand — the black suit and the white shirt. How can we reinvent it?” Van Assche told The Associated Press.
In case guests momentarily forget what show they were attending, there were plenty of funky reminders: Silk scarves around the neck with the Dior Homme atelier address (3, Rue Marignan). Long angular-shouldered coats were also fastidiously patterned with micro text that repeated the house’s name.
Dior Homme defined the collection shown Saturday at Paris Fashion Week as a “fusion of sport and suit.”
Halfway through it was clear why, as the sartorial musings gave way to varsity styles such as silken American baseball jackets with Paris emblazoned on the front, and collegiate V-neck tank tops in flame red that ticked the box for the house’s younger clientele.
DIOR HOMME FRONT ROW
Looking slick in a black Dior Homme suit without a tie, actor Jamie Bell arrived with his actress fiancee Kate Mara at the Grand Palais venue to a flurry of camera flashes.
Mara, who wore a white silk gown, joked that their highly-anticipated wedding would be taking place “today,” since they both looked the part.
“Today. We’re appropriately dressed. We’ll be walking down this aisle,” Mara told The Associated Press.
Although the 34-year-old actress would not disclose who would be designing her wedding dress, Bell was less coy.
“Well, I know who I’m wearing, Am I allowed to say this? Dior of course. They’ve always been good to me over the years. I’m going to wear a bow tie,” he said.
“And doesn’t he look handsome in Dior?” Mara said.
Mara’s latest movie “Megan Leavey,” a true life story about a young Marine corporal in Iraq, was released June 9. She said she was “super honored and proud to be telling Megan Leavey’s story because she’s definitely a hero of mine. And it’s rare that there are movies about females in the military.”
BALMAIN IN BLACK AND WHITE
Designer Olivier Rousteign’s fascination with Faberge eggs, couture and Russian imperial glamour seemed to make a bold return at Saturday’s indulgent Balmain collection.
The blue-and-gold Faberge egg that Richard Burton once gave to Elizabeth Taylor has been a touchstone for the 31-year-old designer in the past. Here, the iconic ornament — created for the Romanovs from 1885 to 1916, when the company was run by Peter Carl Faberge — seemed to be evoked in black and white.
The result was a show of highly structured clothes — for men and women — with dazzling decorations. Embellished cross-over coats conjured up styles of Russian Tatars with belts nipping the waist. A black long-sleeved mini-dress bore thick tectonic plates on the torso and heavy threading that looked like a shell or protection for a warrior.
And then black-and-white striped tuxedos, with lines in all directions, seemed to fast forward to the exuberance of the Jazz Age.
The show was, predictably, a little over-the-top.
UNEXPECTED MR. ROBOT REUNION
Fashion brings people together. American actors Christian Slater and Rami Malek — both of hit U.S. television series Mr. Robot — unexpectedly ran into each other during Paris Fashion Week.
“It honestly randomly happened, yeah. I did not know he was going to be here. He didn’t know I was going to be here. And we actually bumped into each other on the street yesterday. So incredible,” Slater told the AP.
Malek, who joined his co-star on the Dior front row, talked about the upcoming third season of the award-winning techno-thriller show.
“Take all that kind of excitement and frenetic energy of the first season. And all the information you get from the second one. Combine it together and it’s a ... wild ride,” Malek said.
SACAI’S ASIA, FULL OF COLOR
One of Japan’s most lucrative fashion houses, Sacai has built a reputation for the avant-garde and quirky. This was on full display in Saturday’s color-rich show.
This season, Asia was in the air. An oversize tubular cuff that mirrored the sleeve of a kimono was a leitmotif in Sacai’s 49-piece display that showcased both men’s and women’s designs.
Asian styles were evoked in the multitudinous use of layers — a thick hybrid poncho in Cerulean blue with tassels, or an oversize coat covered in blurred text that looked like a decorative pattern. Models walked the runway on thick Geisha “geta” clogs.
Bright flashes of citrus yellow — a color that symbolizes courage in Japan — came on a bold silken shoulderless design with a billowing skirt and box pleating. It’s a look that only a courageous fashionista could wear.
And even the checked suits — normally a Western signature — were rendered here in the Madras fabric pattern.
CLASSY HERMES, ALWAYS IN STYLE
Hermes has become a byword for simple, unpretentious luxury. With panache, veteran menswear designer Veronique Nichanian proved this again in a classy, masculine show Saturday for spring-summer 2018.
Tasteful colors such as ruddy pink, steel, dusty brown, copper and cobalt blue set off the beautifully cut simple silhouettes. High-waisted baggy pants mixed with fitted bombers, or loose luxuriant sweaters rolled up at the sleeves.
Metallic red shiny pants and hoodies provided this season’s twist.
Unlike most Paris fashion shows, the collection produced no far-flung concept, gimmick or muse, simply because none was needed. Nichanian — who’s been at the helm of this family-run business for an incredible 29 years — is an expert at letting the clothes do the talking.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K