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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Essential Drawing Room Dior Homme

Godfrey Deeny
January 22nd, 2011 @ 4:25 PM - Paris

Dior Homme’s latest menswear collection, held on Saturday, Jan. 22, was staged in the official Tennis Club de Paris, but the playing area was done up like a classic 19th century posh Paris apartment, replete with grand parquet floors, three cut-stone fireplaces and six huge chandeliers. But the scenery, devoid of any other details, was reduced to the essentials, as indeed was the classy, modern yet rather sparse fashion collection unveiled upon it.

Without doubt it was Dior Homme’s creative director Kris Van Assche’s most assured performance for Christian Dior, a self-confident display that highlighted his fluid, unadorned style.

For fall 2011, Van Assche wants the Dior man in micro-collar shirt jackets with flap pockets worn over matching billowing pants, or sleek cashmere coats in cleverly contrasting mixes of black and the house’s signature dove gray.

His strongest idea was embroidering the torso of vests and jackets with what looked like the remains of ragged inner lining, a trick that managed to be arty yet gentlemanly at the same time.

“I thought it looked elegant, classy and very smooth,” said Sean "P. Diddy" Combs in the packed Dior backstage, seconds after the house’s owner, French luxury billionaire, Bernard Arnault, told the rapper, “My son likes your music very much.”

Other looks that synced were a ragged-edged cardigan, a series of sinful red tops and suits and the best collection of hats – a mix of Amish and Puritan stovepipes – seen on any runway in quite a few seasons.

“It was about making a man’s wardrobe as fluid and elegant and sophisticated as possible,” explained Van Assche in the mob of camera crews post-show.

In his own signature show on Friday, Van Assche unveiled the highly attractive results of his latest partnership - a series of great weekend carry-alls and garment bags made in collaboration with Eastpak. His mix of beige and black cabans, anoraks and swing coats worn over hefty marching boots also made for a definite viewpoint.

This past week in Milan, the away from the body, floating silhouette Van Assche developed in recent seasons began turning up on runways, and the priestly sleeveless coat he pioneered has become something of a catwalk staple.

Van Assche has grown into a designer of some influence on the industry, and that’s the ultimate compliment to any creative director.

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