July 04, 2006
Five years ago, Hedi Slimane's debut collection for Dior Homme drew praise (from Catherine Deneuve, among others!) for offering "a new way to be masculine." Since then, he's created one of the most identifiable and influential vocabularies in menswear, but his latest showproduced amid open conjecture surrounding his future at Diordid not explore any fresh territory. As usual, the monochrome palette, the hyper-attenuated silhouette, and the impeccable couture finish made for striking images, but the shock of the new has been replaced by something more predictable. A little tan coat that flared into a semi-A-line was the freshest thing in the show, simply because it looked like it was breathing. Otherwise, the thrust of the collection was toward further reductionfrom the narrowing of the models to the width of the ties.
Slimane emphasized the hips of his willowy boy-men with cummerbund belts, bumsters, kimono ties, and low-slung buttoned closings on long shirts. His impeccable, decadent sense of decoration yielded little blousons decorated with white paillettes or starburst beading. He said he wanted something festive, "To celebrate the new club kid," unlike the melancholic mood of last season, with its almost biblical pillar of fire. Given the uncertainty of his current situation and the ambiguity of his own feelings on the matter, was the finale's winged boy an emissary from heavenor an earthbound Icarus?