Hand­book

It’s a rave with the win­ter col­lec­tion.

Esquire (Singapore) - - Contents -

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.

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