‘Traditions have to be maintained so they can be passed on to future generations. In troubled times like ours, we must maintain these traditions which are our luxury and the flower of our civilisation.’
“In this collection, the dialogue with Christian Dior himself continues,” says Kris Van Assche, Creative Director of Dior Homme. “I was very inspired by a letter written by Mr Dior in the Fifties that I found in the archive; in it he talks about how vital it is to maintain traditions. I too feel very strongly about this and the text elements in the collection are taken directly from the letter. I wanted a sense of renewal and an idea of Christian Dior’s artistic milieu to come through as well as his love of formality and tradition – here the bourgeois meets the artist, but very much in the present day. There is still the idea of the individual and human in this collection, together with the release and relaxation of getting away from it all, from the city to the sea.”The clichés of the bourgeois businessman and the idiosyncrasies of the bohemian artist are both embraced in the Dior Homme collection this season – the contrast and combination of the two come together in the example of Christian Dior himself. Away from Paris, Dior would often gather together an artistic circle. It is this idea of renewing and recharging creativity – as well as maintaining traditions – through the influence of others that is central to the collection.
The counterpoints of the city and the seaside, the North and the South of France, are presented as a journey from one to the other in the clothing. Starting with the formality of elegant and urbane navy suiting – the clothing of the society gentleman – with a focus on the tuxedo and traditional pinstripe, there is a movement towards the nautical. Here, the nautical is subverted and encompassed, its colouring borrowed for the bold graphic thrust of the collection, its detailing revealed as strange and dynamic, its materials made luxurious. The handwritten and hand drawn sensibility of broken and bold graphic lines – the signifiers of the bohemian artist – bring the collection to a culmination.
Metamorphosing and subverting an idea of traditional pinstripes, the horizontal line begins to take the place of the vertical in the clothing, eventually becoming the hand drawn heart at the end.
Silhouettes are layered with contrasting graphics, where bold linear patterns predominate. Striped knit vests and t-shirts are idiosyncratically layered over Dior ‘signature’ shirting – becoming a new form of three piece suit – the handwritten pattern eventually finding its way onto jackets, trousers and bags. A strong sense of colour, particularly navy blue, bright yellow and vivid red, is contrasted against white, neutral grey and light denim.
A breaking of the codes and a bending of the rules that supposedly govern menswear, informs the quality of the clothing. The clichés and traditions of the bourgeois masculine wardrobe are looked at afresh, rejuvenated and combined with those of the creative.