17 posts tagged "Kris Van Assche"
The Spring ’15 menswear collections have marched down the catwalk in London, Florence, and Milan, and are now under way in Paris. Before the new clothes hit the runway, we’ve asked some of the most anticipated names to offer a sneak peek. Per usual, it’s a busy time for all—designers and fashion followers alike—so we’re continuing our split-second previews: tweet-length at 140 characters or less. Our entire collection of Spring ’15 previews is available here.
WHEN: Saturday, June 28
WHAT: “With this collection, the dialogue with Christian Dior continues—his personal signature is present. It’s about travel from the city to the sea, where the bourgeois meets the bohemian.”—Kris Van Assche. The designer sent us a sneak peek of his Spring ’15 collection, above.
What is the allure of Dior Homme circa 2015? That is a question that remained top of mind for Kris Van Assche when conceiving his latest collection. The collection, while labeled as Spring, exists independently from what will appear during men’s fashion week in Paris at the end of the month. Essentially, this is a Resort offering, but Van Assche is hoping that we resist the semantics and focus on the details that matter—like, for example, the precision suiting in seasonless weights and shirts that stand out for their novelty finishings.
During a visit to the Paris showroom, it became clear that Van Assche has picked up where Fall’s linear theme left off. Last season’s sharply drawn lines have given way to sweeping “circuit” curves and kinetic zigzags as embroidery across cotton poplin shirts and light wool pants. The well-spaced dot motif has intensified into graphic pattern—think television static as a knit jacquard and gabardine.
“Pieces from one season respond to pieces from another season,” the designer explained via e-mail. “It is a natural movement since it reflects the evolution of my research on a men’s wardrobe.” That research is most evident in the way he created an elongated, transformable jacket that blurred the lines between Dior Homme’s strict polish and Van Assche’s urban ease. The depthless blue of a leather Perfecto could not have been achieved without much trial, if not error. And apparently, the subtle striping within the weave of a cotton wool—referred to as “rayures aléatoires” (shuffled stripes)—represents a closely guarded handcrafted technique.
For a collection intended to transcend seasonal constraints, Van Assche chose the most timeless of tones: red, green, and blue. A refracted prism palette, he said, channels the visual idioms put forth by early electronic music groups two decades ago. As for all those thumbnail-sized rubber triangles—sometimes stitched onto pockets, sometimes anchoring cuffs—they will demarcate this particular Dior Homme collection in lieu of a logo. Whether they return or not is of less importance than how Van Assche views Dior Homme as a sounding board for incremental innovation. “I’ve always pursued, in different ways, the idea of an ideal wardrobe,” he wrote. “As these collections become more and more important, they become part of a continuum.”
Seven years into his tenure as creative director of Dior Homme, it’s safe to say that Kris Van Assche has hit his stride. “One of his strongest collections yet,” said Style.com’s Tim Blanks of the Winter 2014 collection. Good news for Dior and Van Assche, because on Friday, the collection was shown in Shanghai, an important market for the house. Before the show, the busy designer found some time to chat with Style.com about Dior the global brand and what it’s like designing for men all over the world.
Why is it important for you to present the collection in Asia?
It’s become very, very important for Dior Homme as a brand, and so I’m very exited about that because it’s basically proof of how well Dior Homme is doing. We had our first show one year ago in Beijing, which was a huge success, so we’re doing it again now in Shanghai.
So the Beijing show last year, was that your first show you’d done in Asia?
Yeah. We had never had a show outside of Paris before.
What was that experience like?
It was a great experience because I’m used to doing a show only once. Bringing it all to a different country—it’s quite something. We’re trying to keep it interesting, you know? We make a different set, so everybody gets a different view on things. We do a local casting as well. We have to fly in the ateliers to do the fittings on the new guys and all that, so it brings along quite a lot of work, but it’s exciting because it actually allows you to see the same clothes on local guys, and so that together with the new setup makes it a new experience. For me, it’s less stressful because I kind of know that everything will be OK in the first show, so it’s a more enjoyable experience.
It’s interesting that you do a local casting. Do you see the clothes in a new way? Do you feel like they’re worn differently?
Well, even when we’re doing castings in Paris, seeing five hundred guys in castings, picking out the forty-five we’re actually going to use…I mean, the same jacket is going to look different on every guy anyway. So I’m not so surprised about that. And it has nothing to do with continents, Asia, Europe, whatever. That’s why fittings take so long, because we always try to find the right guy for the right look.
I’m very aware that I work for an international brand—I’m not only working for French guys. The collection is going to be sold throughout the world. It’s not about doing specific clothes for specific continents or specific people because it doesn’t really work like that. But you kind of have a worldwide view in a way.
So who is the client?
At Dior Homme, there’s not one type of client—you have different types of clients. You have a very traditional made-to-measure tailoring type of guy and then you have a very high-end fashion type of client and you have whatever’s in between. That’s the case usually in Paris, but it’s the case all over the world. If you go to Asia, you have real fashion people. They really go for the full-on fashion pieces. And then you have some very demanding, tailoring, made-to-measure clients. So you have these different demands of different types of clients, but you come across all of them on all continents.
When you’re designing, do you have that range of clients in mind?
It comes with the job. And my last show in January was really about exposing all that. The first silhouette of this show was a three-piece suit, a really made-to-measure suit with what I call the “Savile Row tradition” very much linked to the personality of Dior Homme. That was look one. And then the last outfit was really about white sneakers, baggy trousers, jeans, and all that. So that’s how big the difference gets at Dior Homme. The high-end tailoring makes my sportswear more luxurious and the activewear makes the tailoring more comfortable, easier to wear. So one constantly influences the other.
Are there other places in the world you would like to bring your collection?
It’ll probably one day make sense to take the shows to Brazil because everybody knows it’s a top growing market and there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on there, but it’s really not on the agenda. For now, we’re really concentrating on Europe, the United States, China, Japan.
I know you’re also coming to New York soon, and you have the pop-up for the Dior Homme Autumn collection with M/M (Paris). Can you tell me a little about that?
I very much like these projects for the Autumn and Spring collections because it’s almost like shows in Paris—one show each, we just do it once, and so it’ll be a premiere. It’s very exciting. I’m actually there in the same space as the client and you get a much more direct reaction from people of whatever you’re presenting. Because behind the scenes for a show, it’s really behind the scenes—you basically wait [until] the day after to see whatever people thought. It’s an interesting experience—it’s a little scary because you’re in the middle of the room, but it’s nice. I very much love working with M/M. They always take things to another step, another level. It’s an inspiring exercise.
The Fall ’14 menswear collections have marched down the catwalk in London, Florence, and Milan, and are now under way in Paris. Before the new clothes hit the runway, we’ve asked some of the most anticipated names to offer a sneak peek. Per usual, it’s a busy time for all—designers and fashion followers alike—so we’re continuing our split-second previews: tweet-length at 140 characters or less. Our entire collection of Fall ’14 previews is available here.
WHO: Dior Homme, designed by Kris Van Assche
WHEN: Saturday, January 18
WHAT: “This is probably the most Monsieur Dior collection I’ve done. In many ways I put the idea of the man, the individual, in front of the brand.”—Kris Van Assche. The designer sent us a pair of Winter ’14 inspiration images, both of which feature Monsieur Dior, above.
Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci traveled to New York this week to present his new Pre-Fall collection to the press. But like several other designers of late (among them Calvin Klein Collection’s Italo Zucchelli and Dior Homme’s Kris Van Assche), Tisci is promoting not only his women’s pre-collection, but one for men, too. “This collection comprises the ten essential looks for the Givenchy man,” he told Style.com about the men’s line, which features tribal prints and geometric details, as well as new plays on bleached denim. “The techno-ethnic print is taken to another level, particularly with the new Rave bag. The overall feeling this season is elegant, yet urban.” The range picks up some of the same notes as the African-inspired menswear collection for Spring ’14, but also that of the women’s Spring ’14 offering. Cross-pollination is a Tisci tried-and-true, which should make it no surprise that he hinted that polo shirts debuting now as part of women’s Pre-Fall will find new life in the men’s Fall ’14 collection in a few weeks.
The complete men’s Pre-Fall ’14 collection debuts exclusively on Style.com. Click here for the full slideshow.