WORDS Kara Douglas

     “HarDior” was printed across tape, lining the floors of the warehouse as Dior Homme unveiled a youthful and confident, rave driven AW17 collection at Paris Fashion Week Mens. The model’s hair fell into signature 90s centre-parts and exaggerated spikes, some covered by black bucket hats and oversized reflective sunglasses shaded their eyes, intensifying the mysterious presence of the heavily noir dominated collection.

     Kris Van Assche’s rave inspired concepts surpassed the obvious and menial approach of bright colours and baggy trousers that many design houses usually associated with rave culture and expanded them to represent a more modern man as he intertwined his perceptions of “gabber” with quintessential Dior Homme detailing. Hand stitched, beautifully tailored skinny fits were paired with white socks and trainer combinations that peered out from under loose fitting work-wear trousers to produce looks that buzzed with an urban, industrial rawness.

     Rave neons were given a more subdued hue, replaced by intense orange's, red's and vibrant turquoises', adding fierce flashes of colour to the collection. These elements were presented within standalone pieces such as the vibrantly citrine treated leather trenches and chunky roll-necked knitted aqua jumpers or more subtly incorporated into pinstripe suits through colourful flecks. Chicago-born artist Dan Witz’s paintings from his “Mosh Pitzs” series were also transformed into wrapping patterns that adorned every clothing construction imaginable, from three piece suits to the more dramatic floor length undulating cloak, revealed in the final look. 

     Dior Homme’s collection was innovative and captivating, its use of garish accenting colours contrasted against the depths of the two dimensional black pieces to conjure an exhilaratingly electrifying atmosphere. This collection was one for the dissatisfied youth of today, desperate to escape the political woes and style restrictions that suffocate them daily through the exploration of colour and the reconstructed outlines of Kris Van Assche’s new Dior Homme man.