It’s a rave with the winter collection.
Gabber, gabber, Dior.
Set the scene. Think the ’90s; glam rock has died a quiet death and the rise of grunge means cool, slouched brooding in plaid and baggy jeans. Power dressing? What is power dressing? The Berlin Wall is gone, Reagan is out and the tacky consumerist ’80s is done for. The youth want parties; throbbing, thumping beats layered with electronic sounds discordant to the unfamiliar ear made all the better with happy pills and neon lights. Abandoned warehouses, condemned buildings, tunnels and the odd parking lot or two, and a whole ’nother way of expression that had more to do with vibing right at a rave than the latest fashions dictated by the mainstream was born.
And so, Kris Van Assche got all that out for Dior Homme’s Winter collection. At its Paris show, set in the Grand Palais transformed into a stadium of spectacle, the models were all decked out in suits more appealing to the millennials than, say, the sharp lines that may be favoured by their older brothers. In these images shot backstage by Virginia Arcaro, they stand well-tailored but never looking like they would be horrifically out of place in a sea of streetwear. To get to the mil--
lennials, Van Assche reached into the past, into the decade of their birth. Ironic, considering those of the generation now working the grind in conventional suits were more likely to have been the ravers of the ’90s.
But EDM is popular now, and festivals is the thing to do all over the world. The youth may have forgotten about the gabbers, the old raves in squats, and only know of Depeche Mode when soundtracked on slickly-made advertising, but to bring them in, Van Assche returned to those very influences. Shots of fluorescent that hark back to the kandi culture accent the classic Dior palette of red and black; the zips, the pins and the loops on finely tailored coats and jackets with high necks recall the cybergoths. And to drive the message home, perhaps, the portmanteau HarDior was stamped everywhere, along with vivid prints of moshpits on bags and entire suits. Hardcore in luxury? Why not. When the cool girls and boys are jetting off to Instagram festivals and the music’s reduced to generic beeps and weak drops, anything’s possible.