Dior Homme Menswear Spring Summer 2014 Paris
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The centerpiece of the Dior Homme show was an impressive mirrored maze that had the disconcerting effect of reflecting different, multiple angles of the audience at the same time. In the all white show space, and under the bright white lights the maze acquired an almost translucent air. Were those faces looking back at you a reflection, or was that a gap in the maze, one that let through the view of the audience from across the isle?

Into this elegant, if slightly disconcerting, set design Kris Van Assche sent out a collection of menswear that was as straightforward as his mise-en-scène was labyrinthine.

“ I was very interested in the idea of ‘minimal baroque’ this season. I wanted an idea of rigour, yet without so many restrictions attached to it. I wanted a lot of contrast and choice—different propositions in colour and silhouettes, something more unconventional and individual at times,” said the designer in the show’s program notes.

If by “minimal baroque” Van Assche meant a modern, Mondrian- like mélange of blocky patchworks that used sublet color variations or alternating fabric options in different degrees of matte and shine finishes, then he succeeded. There was little in this collection that felt overtly decorative or ornate.

Even the color palette - of burgundy, black, plume and shades of blue- was rather sober for a spring/summer show. The designer’s chosen silhouette also kept this collection grounded. Jackets and tops were cut in boxy shapes that gave more of a canvas for Van Assche to mix and match his blocks of fabrics. He paired them with classically tailored trousers or sporty pleat front short designed not to distract from the upper body where all the sartorial action was taking place.

As the show progressed the models would do a once around on the runway that framed the maze before entering its mirrored depths. But when the collection was complete and the models had to find their way out, a few of them lost their way. It was an apt ending for a collection that also felt as if it too had been somewhat entangled in its design.

- Jessica Michault

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