Kris Van Accshe has just recently completed his fourth collection for Dior Homme, which calls for a situation analysis of where the brand stands. One can’t down play the immense challenges and expectations a designer face when they take on the commanding role in a fashion house. With a martyr for a predecessor like Hedi Slimane, acceptance was Van Acche’s biggest obstacle as by default, everything that would bear his name would be scrutinised while Slimane received cheers and standing ovations by fans adoring his designs, photography, soul and existence.
While hustling under his own name trying to get his line off the ground the last thing Van Assche needed was another chief designer role. Only the most confident and experienced designer would successfully be able to lead two fashion houses. At a relatively young age of 32, Van Assche is quite some years short of Karl Lagerfeld’s majestic 75 years of age that have built a bank of fashion knowledge, enabling him to run his own line as well as cater to board members of Channel.
The high sophistication of his debut collection, Spring summer 2008, promised a new dawn with Dior Homme joining Dior for women on the front line of avant-garde glamour. Inexperience struck Van Assche’s spinal cord as the collections that came after, have been a big pot of insecurity, lack of creativity and Slimane heritage. Swinging between formal and punk rock appearance, it has been highly unclear in what direction Van Assche is trying to steer DH. Most eye piercing has been the sight of him casting the same models of both his own line and DH as well as featuring highly similar clothing like parachute pants for both lines. The inability to distinguish DH from his own line has been the biggest weakness which begs the questions what the CEO’s at Dior are feeling as they most likely can’t be too happy about Van Assche’s cannibalism. Fall/Winter 2009 is the most coherent DH collection in a few years which better mark a turning point as DH as the line on the EKG indicate that death is imminent.
Grade 5.5/10: Better than expected but not 100% convincing.
Gucci FW 2009
If you fancy clothes sold at ASOS, Ben Sherman or Topman then you are who Gucci’s chief designer Frida Giannini is unintentionally targeting. Her inconsistency is laughably painful with only one appealing men’s collection making its way out of her office every two years. A sexist and lazy man who can’t work the stove can probably make past meals most consistent than Giannini’s collections for men. When every she presents her male audience with an appealing collection it’s always the same old nouvéau Russian Tsar inspired designs with models wearing black eye shadow, over flimsy accessories and messy hair.
The usual dish served by her is now days are unimaginative designs that don’t speak the language of Italian high fashion. Uncoordinated colours with high familiar clothes one can find in any off the rack men’s shop. Originality is a big issue as the clothes lack originality when seen in the shops and can very easily be mistaken for clothes made by brand with zero run way presence. There is nothing Gucci about what she designs for men and will probably do a better job solely focusing on women’s wear.
Grade 2.7/10: Overly predictable mainstream designs at overly inflated price.