Sunday, November 29, 2009

On the wings of Dior Homme

Naboonies mentioned it first on his blog, Dunia Fashion, way back in July: the sheer structured jackets at the Dior Homme Spring 2010 show may remind one of the Barong Tagalog, the national costume/uniform of men in the Philippines.

But while the comparison may come to mind, it is the elaboration of ideas throughout Kris Van Assche's collection that brings the concept to its metamorphosis and ushers it into another form.

Dior Homme 01

I have chosen images of moths to juxtapose with runway photos to highlight not just the translucence of the fabric, but also the direct and subtle layers that resemble wings.

The black and white shirt on the left shows the transition from sheer to solid black, with the front part revealing a white layer underneath. The effect is intriguing and sophisticated.

The jacket on the right, on the other hand, is a wonderful trick on the eye, like X-ray vision showing the skeleton of clothing. This piece is probably the best I’ve seen in the all the collections I have dared to review. The reason: the delightful contrast combination of strict form with light, flowing fabric. Of course, to state the obvious and echo Scott Schuman’s observation: just imagine how sheer jackets like this can add life to your outfits.

Dior Homme 02

The vest (left) has been so radically transformed that you almost miss the fact that it is one. Looks as if segments from fabric patterns have been stitched together — which only heightens the finished/unfinished effect. Is that a translucent parka over the jacket on the right?

Dior Homme 03

What movement! The non-sheer jacket appears to be almost as pliable as the low v-neck underneath. And the wonderfully skinny belts!

Dior Homme 04

The v-neck, now in a different material: what an amazing variation on the shawl collar. And the cut from the shoulder to where the sleeves should have been gives the piece solid bearing. Now it looks more like a jacket than a shirt.

The good thing about the items here is that they look as good layered or unlayered. I'd say the top on the right is perfect for a hot, tropical night.

Dior Homme 05

Notice the cummerbund waist of the trousers? The fit of the outfit is both relaxed and athletic.

Dior Homme 06

I love the placket of the sleeveless shirt. It almost looks part of the pared down jacket (is it called something else?). The one on the right, meanwhile, is double-layered and separates into flaps.

Dior Homme 07

The collection's biker jacket has been made in an equally fluid fabric. Can the jacket on the right, with its giant lapels making it look oddly similar to the jacket beside it, be considered black-tie?

Dior Homme 08

Interestingly, the combination of the sleeveless shawl-collared jacket and similarly sheer parka on the right looks like an outdoor robe. At first the length of the parka at the back looks awkward, but I can imagine that the way it moves — not very different from the coat on the left — gives it an exotic, eastern appeal. Interesting also how the two diagonal bands on the collar of the shirt on the left makes the placket look like a tie.

Dior Homme 09

I imagine that the gray jacket comes in one piece. The flaps looks almost like ruffles. The appropriated cummerbund goes well with the jacket. Did you notice the collar of the shirt underneath? Like the doorways of the Alhambra.

Dior Homme 10

Rendered casual, contemporary, and opaque.

Dior Homme 11

Just imagine a sheer coat on top of these: they woul be perfect office wear for the tropics and the East. The sleeveless jackets remind me of sails.

Dior Homme 12

More of the moth wing vests.

Dior Homme 13

This version with black shoulders and a zipper looks stylishly street, especially with the trainers and trousers like sweats.

Dior Homme 14

Variation in black and white.

Dior Homme 15

Sleeveless jackets and vests for a city safari.

Dior Homme 16

Dior Homme 17

Can't seem to put my finger on it. What do these "sleeves" remind you of? Is it something Arabic? Or more Star Trek?

Dior Homme 18

In opaque fabric, these pieces still manage to appear exotic.

Dior Homme 19

And here come the schoolboys with their long sheer cardigans and deliciously loose shirts and cummerbund trousers. And have I failed to mention the collection's angular club collar?

Dior Homme 20

The garb of OPEC leaders according to Arthur C. Clarke.

Dior Homme 21

Look how the tuxedo's shawl collar narrows to a steep V.

Dior Homme 22

Kris Van Assche looks to the East, and with his innovations and fresh outlook, ushers us into the future.


-h said...

now that im looking at this again, KVA does the sheer suiting and shirts like these in his own line. I think i may have liked this collection if it WASNT dior homme. i never like his spring showings for dior.

when i was in dior homme last month, the SA told me that dior has been moving away from the slim. that they had already done their spring orders, and that the fabrics were beautiful, but the silohuette is going to be looser.

i like when you do these runway reviews, it's interesting to see a different perspective on it.

Miguel Paolo Celestial said...

-h: You are right. I just took a look at his Spring 2010 show (, and some of the pieces look awfully similar. Not to say that the fact takes anything away from the Dior collection, but it's kinda disappointing.

This is his first show that I liked for Dior Homme, after all the criticism he's been getting since he took over from Hedi Slimane, one of the toughest acts to follow. In that context, I think he deserves praise for finally starting to convey his own unique vision. If only he wouldn't duplicate across labels.

Thanks -h.

cuckoobrain said...

Hey, great post. Where'd you get your moth photos?