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Perhaps it was the stripped-down aesthetic or the matching navy, uniform-like suits, or maybe it was the dutiful march of the models around the fluorescent white, rectangular catwalk. But there was something distinctly collectivist about the captivating Dior Homme SS13 collection, sort of as if someone had shouted “Union!” backstage just before the models walked out. A 1980s East Germany didn’t seem a foreign reference in Kris Van Assche’s fit young army collective. The high-speed stride of the models in all their stunning identicalness recalled images of the marches of the Freie Deutsche Jugend movement, if only the communist German youth had been able to wear Dior. Only here, the Einheitsgrau – ‘unity grey’ – of said era was replaced with a unity navy, and if there were loud punches of red amongst the blue, their political connotation was nonexistent. Van Assche is not the kind of designer to take a reference and run with it, and nowhere was the concept of union mentioned. Rather, he works with garments – with wardrobe staples – and in the case of his effort yesterday in Paris, that garment was the blazer. But what could be more unifying than the very key element of a uniform, namely the blazer? At Dior Homme, some were transparent, some grey, some had visible red stitching – but all had in common a shared cut, a shared button, and a shared colour or three, acting as a unifying factor for the people who’ll buy them and wear them. Come summer, they’ll be marching for Kris.
Text: Anders Christian Madsen
Photography: Mitchell Sams
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