Dior Homme creates the space-age businessman

AP News

1/19/2013 1:48:03 PM - AP News

PARIS (AP) — It was cosmic musing for Dior Homme's Kris Van Assche, who injected a space-age fiber into the house's DNA of fitted black suit, white shirt and black tie.

A sanitized all-white set saw elegantly suited, droid-like gentlemen file by with galactic high collars, and super high buckled waists, which cut the torso in half — in lab white, luminous deep midnight blue as well as gray and black.

Though at times there was a slight feel of vintage Pierre Cardin — the collection's starting point was apparently the sci-fi movie "Gattaca," in which humans are genetically modified to be better prepared for the future.

One result of this futurist exploration was the businessman as superhero.

As it happens, the other result was also one of the stronger shows the Belgian designer has done in a while.

"The first silhouettes look Wall Street. But little by little you understand that they are not so classic. There is a secret about them," Van Assche told The Associated Press backstage.

A red pin stripe recurs as a futuristic cult-like symbol, a triangle within a square; shoe heels are encased in a smooth, clear plastic so they don't leave a trace; and traceless, too, are the smoothly covered zippers fastening.

This secret Dior man will pass through time unnoticed.

In Raf Simon's recent womenswear designs for Christian Dior, waists were cinched in a reworking of the 1950s bar jacket with peplum.

Here Van Assche is adding his menswear voice to the fashion conversation, by echoing this style through delineating the waist. He raised it, military style, through a belt almost halfway down the torso; this was mirrored, beautifully, by the cult-like symbols, which bisected the waist at the exact same point.

This Dior man can indeed afford look to the future — with a collection like this, it's a bright, if sanitized, place.

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Follow Thomas Adamson at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP