Dior Goes for Fluid Elegance at Paris Menswear Shows
Fluidity defined Kris Van Assche's collection for Dior Homme on the penultimate day of the autumn-winter menswear shows in Paris on Saturday, while Kenzo sought inspiration in Sherlock Holmes.
Van Assche turned an indoor tennis court into a bourgeois Parisian apartment stripped bare to its fireplaces and herringbone wood floors to introduce 37 looks rich in soft tailoring and earthy hues.
Jackets with the narrowest of lapels and softest of shoulders were set against loose-cut trousers, complemented by thick-soled footwear and, more often than not, black wide-brimmed hats.
"It's all about fluidness," the 34-year-old Belgian designer -- who took over the creative helm at Dior Homme after Hedi Slemine's departure in 2008 -- explained backstage.
"This had to be about warmer coats and warmer suits, obviously, but still very fluid and comfortable."
Van Assche, who unveiled his own-label collection in Paris on Friday, described his extensive use of knitwear and cashmere as an experiment at "breaking luxury down to what is really essential".
Front-row celebrities included US rapper Sean Combs, alias P. Diddy, who took his seat with two glamorous women in tow just as the show began, and designer Karl Lagerfeld.
Earlier in the day, Kenzo took over the elongated 19th century mineralogy gallery at the Jardins des Plantes to send out a collection that owed much to fiction's best-loved detective.
Despite the label's Japanese heritage, the outfits were distinctly British in character, with plenty of woolens and tweeds, the occasional suit in earthy plaids, even cardigans and sleeveless V-neck pullovers.
Not so elementary, my dear Doctor Watson, were the two-button double-breasted suits and a contemporary black lounge suit with black pleated kilt over trousers that closed the show.
Brogues were more often than not the footwear of choice, again with thick no-nonsense soles.