Twilight in mid-afternoon, a roller coaster-like installation, and suddenly the beats of an electro track pulse out. From the first seconds, the atmosphere of the Dior Homme summer 2017 show transported guests into a special universe, combining cacophony and discipline, childhood memories and contemporary inspirations. A nostalgia-free flashback, populated by young men whose silhouettes reference the attitude of teenagers gathering at dusk in amusement parks.
These Dior-wearing men have made fashion their playground. They fearlessly fuse influences – New Wave and sportswear, punk, street and military references – but always with the sophistication associated with Dior Homme in terms of materials and cut. Suit jackets are decorated with staples and red embroidered eyelets as if they're being patched up. They’re paired with trousers as loose as jogging pants, but upping the ante by being made of Japanese wool. Pinstripes become lines of hand-unraveled embroidery, the houndstooth motif is revisited in a blurred form, trousers and knit sweaters are worn with a harness, jeans come in wool or hand-painted leather. Running throughout the collection, as recurring signatures, bands of grosgrain striped red, white and black, and strings and lacings borrowed from the sportswear lexicon that run down jackets from collar to cuff or the length of a trouser leg, and on accessories, too, transformed into rings and glasses frames. In this dark-dominated controlled disorder, a certain sensuality is also to be found as bodies are revealed by tops in nude net. The spirit of Christian Dior is also subtly evoked in an unraveling lily-of-the-valley embroidery repeated all over a jacket. In the show’s final looks, vanities by the Japanese artist Toru Kamei are reproduced on patches in order to customize a black denim vest, or embroidered in large dimensions on the back of a blouson. Mixing flowers and skulls with rebellious aplomb, they reflect the contemporary attitude of a collection revisiting the Dior Homme codes.