Kris Van Assche Looks Back on 10 Years at Dior Homme

Dior Homme
Trunk Archive

From recruiting a who’s who of influential style mavericks like Robert Pattinson and A$AP Rocky to, more recently, casting Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan in his Fall 2017 ad campaign, Kris Van Assche has shaken things up since his arrival a decade ago as artistic director of Dior Homme. He has not been afraid of the house roots—a pair of pants from his first runway show was inspired by Dior‘s New Look, for example—or of taking risks, in everything from design to ambitious sets to the artists he regularly collaborates with, everyone from Larry Clark to the Belgian painter Rinus Van de Velde. Though he doesn’t enjoy nostalgia—”I honestly don’t like to look back at my work. I am only as good as my next collection,” he tells W—he is in a celebratory mood as he marks his 10th anniversary at the label. Here, he looks back at his favorite moments so far.

Trunk Archive

These pants, from my first runway show for Dior Homme, were inspired by Christian Dior’s famous New Look silhouette. The image was shot by David Sims, with whom I am now working on my campaigns.

Gaetan Bernard

There was something poetic about Picaflor, an installation I created for the 2009 International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères. Visitors discovered images from my life and design process by putting their heads in a metallic flower.

Clockwise from top: Sarah moon; Larry Clark and Jonathan Velasquez; Michal Chelbin; Paolo Roversi/Courtesy of Dior Homme

Collaborating with artists like Sarah Moon, Larry Clark, Michal Chelbin, and Paolo Roversi on special photo projects (clockwise from left) is always a rewarding experience—it enables you to see your work in a new light.

Courtesy of Dior Homme

I’m fortunate to have been able to cast creative talents like Rinus Van de Velde and Oliver Sim (top right, with Victor Nylander); Lucas Hedges (middle); Larry Clark (above); and A$AP Rocky, Rami Malek, and Boy George (top and bottom left) for my campaigns. I truly admire their work and rebellious spirit.

Liam Goodman, styled by Paul Petzy

It was while designing this jacket for the spring 2010 collection that I realized the essence of Dior is technique. The inside is as important as the outside, and often as beautiful. I think of it as “technical beauty.”

Courtesy of Dior Homme

Moving in May 2014 to this building at 3 rue de Marignan underscored the brand’s ambitions. The atelier, my studio, and the commercial and press teams are all here, under one roof.

Courtesy of Dior Homme

We presented our pre-fall 2017 collection in Tokyo, where the audience is always enthusiastic about new ideas and concepts.

Courtesy of Dior Homme

I see my shows as little plays with imaginary characters. Runway sets (pictured: spring 2011) are very important to me, and I start working on them with the production studio Villa Eugénie early in the season. I think of them as the natural environment in which my characters evolve.

Courtesy of Dior Homme

Runway set in spring 2016.

Stef Mitchell

I love this still from my spring 2018 show, but I honestly don’t like to look back at my work. I am only as good as my next collection.

David Sims/courtesy of Dior Homme

Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan is the ultimate cult icon from my teenage years. For me, shooting him for the fall 2017 ad campaign was an auspicious way to begin my next decade at Dior.