17 posts tagged "Kris Van Assche"
Dior can smell a trend in the offing. The label’s artistic director for menswear, Kris Van Assche—as well as, presumably, his corporate bosses—sensed the growing importance of pre-collections for menswear and have begun to treat them with the pomp and circumstance formerly accorded to Fall and Spring. “At the start, a few seasons ago, these pre-collections were basically pre-deliveries of the main collections,” Van Assche told Style.com. “But now, with their strong commercial success, I understood the need for four independent, freestanding collections a year. We have now started calling these in-between collections Spring and Autumn, and the show collections Summer and Winter. These independent pre-collections tell a whole new story, away from the runway. I chose to present them to the press through catalogs, videos, and installations, like the one we had in Omotesando, Japan, in November, for the Spring collection.”
The story Van Assche set out to tell for Autumn—what other labels call Pre-Fall—is about an art student from Antwerp or Berlin. (Van Assche is Belgian himself and graduated, in his student days, from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts.) His wardrobe mixes the tailored pieces Dior Homme is famous for with more of the youth-inflected sportswear that’s a particular Van Assche fascination—sometimes in the same garment. (Blazer sleeves can be narrowed or expanded by zippers like those found on biker jackets, for example.) “His wardrobe is composed of various pieces bought on different occasions,” he says, “A blazer, a leather biker jacket, a bright red duffle coat, some knits, the typical ‘art student’ narrow black jeans, and, of course, black combat boots.”
There’s a new graphicism to some of the items, from printed suits to printed shirts, the latter of which owe a debt to the graphics of new wave (“which the art student would obviously be listening to”). But the main innovation of the collection is that, fittingly to its more commercial bent, it was conceived as separate, sales-friendly pieces. “The newest thing for me as a design concept,” Van Assche said, “was to think not in total looks but in strong separate pieces, and then make them work as an outfit.” The Autumn collection debuts exclusively on Style.com.
The Spring ’14 menswear shows are winding down in Paris, and before their wares 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 previews at 140 characters or less. Our complete collection of Spring ’14 previews is available here.
WHO: Dior Homme, designed by Kris Van Assche
WHEN: Saturday, June 29
WHAT: “Just think how you negotiate wearing a tuxedo on a beach: Spring ’14 is the answer. It’s formality & informality: choice, chance & lightness.” —Kris Van Assche. The designer sent us a snap of his Spring ’14 inspirations, above.
The party season started off with a bang last night in Beijing, when Dior Homme held its first-ever fashion show in China. A bevy of Chinese boldfaced names—like media mogul Hung Huang and “China’s number-one heartthrob,” Huang Xiaoming—headed to the Central Academy of Fine Arts’ Art Museum to view Kris Van Assche’s Fall 2013 presentation.
“I love the momentum of China, and Beijing seemed the right choice, since we had already staged some events in Shanghai,” Van Assche told Style.com. The show was a reprisal of the collection that debuted in Paris in January. Half of the models were cast locally, as was the show’s unexpected star—a black bat that swooped in and circled the runway.
Postshow, everyone migrated downstairs, where champagne and a performance by Hurts awaited. Naturally, the band was dressed in head-to-toe Dior Homme. “I think they are a great representation of contemporary dandyism,” Kris Van Assche said of the duo. Things got festive around 12:30 a.m., when some models challenged other merrymakers to a dance-off. Of course, no fashion fete is complete without an after-party. In this case, revelers were ferried off to Mesh, the hip bar inside The Opposite House hotel, where that oft-parodied phrase “models and bottles” actually rang true.
When the droves that came to Miami this week depart at the end of Art Basel Miami Beach, one new arrival will stay: Dior Homme, which opened its new store, and fifth in the U.S., on December 1st. Tonight marks the boutique’s launch event and, for the occasion, the label commissioned Miami native Bruce Weber to create a film that will become a permanent installation at the new store. “It’s one of the great perks of my job that I have the ability to work with these creative talents who I so admire,” says Dior Homme’s creative director, Kris Van Assche. “Bruce is an incredibly talented photographer and filmmaker and one of the most influential figures in the world of fashion. This new film is particularly fascinating as he brings a very personal aesthetic, and we tapped a particularly diverse range of young males.”
For Can I Make the Music Fly?, Weber tapped a few prodigies of the dance and classical music world: among them, fashion favorite Charlie Siem, who at 26 is already the veteran of several ad campaigns; the Ukrainian ballet dancer Sergei Polunin, whom Weber calls “the dance world’s fastest-rising star”; and 10-year-old Claudius Agrippa, an “astonishingly gifted” violinist. They do make the music fly, like the film’s dedicatee, the frenetic pianist Glenn Gould, used to. If this kind of impassioned playing seems to border on spectator sport, that’s all part of the Weber point. Miami, the photographer said in a statement, “is my hometown and also the hometown of a great ballet company and orchestra—and last but not least, the hometown of the Miami Heat. I made this film with all of that in mind; as well as my love for classical music and how sometimes the wildness of the 4th quarter of a basketball game is like the giant leap of a ballet dancer.” The trailer premieres exclusively on Style.com, above.
Dior Homme’s 57th Street digs are under construction. But lest any homme be left in the cold, the brand is relocating for a few months to a Greene Street pop-up that will be a temporary space—for now. “It’s good for us to be on 57th Street,” designer Kris Van Assche, in town to christen the new store, said last night at its opening party, co-hosted by Interview. “But we’ll see.” The turnout suggested that there are more than enough downtown fans to fill a Soho store should the time for a second outpost come. Certainly that would put Dior in line with its colleagues in European design. Soho has seen a renewed boom of designer retail recently; Stella McCartney recently moved from her Meatpacking District space to a shop a few doors down on Greene, and YSL and Balenciaga are set to open in the neighborhood soon.
In the meantime, the label is content to party. A jet-lagged Van Assche confessed he still had plenty of work to do on the Spring ’13 collection he’ll show in Paris in June, but he made a two-day visit to celebrate the space. Joining him were a constellation of male models, including Matt Hitt (just off his performance with his band, the Drowners, earlier this week), Ethan James, Charlie France, and Andrej Pejic. A scrum of young celebrity fans were kitted out in Dior for the occasion, too: Bryan Greenberg, Sebastian Stan, and Anton Yelchin swelled the ranks. (A post-Dawson James Van Der Beek was in evidence, too.) Commanding a corner was Kevin Jonas, not the first person you’d expect to see in such a venue. But as he explained, he and his brothers are growing up and branching out. The three are in the studio now, recording their new album, working in New York to accommodate Nick Jonas’ performing schedule in Broadway’s How to Succeed in Business. “It’s been a long time since we’ve done an album,” he said. “It’s a new journey, a new look, and a new sound. It’s time for change. I think people will be interested to hear where we’re headed.” About the new sound, he was loath to give too many details—”we’re in the development stage—the nitty gritty”—but about the new look, it wasn’t hard to see where his thoughts were headed. He was in head-to-toe Dior. “I wonder how much they’d notice if anything went missing?” he asked with a smile, glancing at the sunglasses display next to him.
Dior Homme is now open at 133 Greene St., NYC.