Hundreds of teenagers jostled outside the Grand Palais in Paris on Saturday morning, and they weren’t there for the Irving Penn retrospective. The object of their fascination was Robert Pattinson, whose arrival at the Dior Homme fashion show drew shrieks from the crowd.
Inside, Pattinson sat next to Karl Lagerfeld, a longtime fan of the brand, who wore his usual uniform of precise monochrome suit and fingerless gloves, with the unlikely addition of a scruffy white beard.
Lagerfeld did Dior Homme’s mythology no harm when he famously said that the motivation for his six-and-a-half stone weight loss, in the noughties, was the desire to fit into the brand’s skinny suits.
He would have found much to appreciate in the opening half of the show, which consisted of a series of slim black suits in single- and double-breasted iterations.
The rest felt fresh and unexpected. There were baggy ravers’ jeans and short-sleeved t-shirts layered over long-sleeved versions, and a repeated heavy metal-style motif embroidered on to rucksacks and bomber jackets, used as a print and a pendant, and shaved into models’ hair.
There were models of a variety of ages, not just 20-somethings. The theme, said the show notes, was “Forever Young”, a reference to the 1984 Alphaville song that was mixed in on the soundtrack with A-Ha, Technotronic and other 1980s hits. The brand’s artistic director, Kris Van Assche, is an 80s music fan who has recently signed up the Pet Shop Boys as campaign stars.
It seemed designed to appeal to new customers while sparking nostalgia for others. More evidence of Dior’s attempts to woo the millennial market came in the presence of the Instagram star Bella Hadid, who wore a pair of the label’s new squidgy trainers, Dior Homme Runners, Dior’s answer to Balenciaga’s hugely successful Triple S trainers.
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