“Minimal baroque” was Dior Homme’s creative director Kris Van Assche’s starting point for the spring/summer 2014 collection. While staying faithful to his minimalist eye, it was a show comprised of opposites; formal wear set against sports casual that did not look out place among the other European collections of the season.
Van Assche set out to shake up the foundations of menswear and traditional formality by exploring how a wearer chooses to express themselves through their wardrobe. The result? A mix and match collection filled with variables. There were long sleeves, short sleeves, and no sleeves, matched with stovepipe pants or shorts. Luxurious, lightweight leather was layered over wool, nylon, knits, and more interestingly, neoprene sweaters and satin t-shirts. The suits were boxy and the cuts clean, and when the jackets were paired with shorts the whole outfit channeled a tuxedo at the beach look – a style Van Assche has been talking about for a while now.
It may have been a spring collection but the color palette was distinctly fall, with deep wine colored burgundies, teals, and petrol blues making up much of the sublime tonal range. The contrasts continued with metallic patchwork stitched onto jackets and shorts, inspired by the artist John Chamberlain best known for his Miami-esque Art Deco motifs. These geometric shapes were then repeated again and again when reflected in the mirrored maze stage set that the models wound their way through.
“I really started this season with a lot of contrasts and contradictions that I wanted to make worK,” Van Assche explained. In doing so, the Belgian designer has bent the rules of traditional tailoring and created a collection that successfully marries casual ease with boardroom chic.