By Timothy Hagy
PARIS, January 31 - Inside the gold-engraved Dior Homme invitation
was a tiny envelope holding a love poem. The first thing I did was
transmit the text by IM to two of my 20-something friends, and as expected,
the sentiment struck a chord. Think back now to the first time your
heart was broken, and remember that pang that took your breath away.
That is the same emotion that strikes at the heart of young men in
evolution, and the reason why Hedi's work for Dior has attracted
them in increasing numbers. It goes way beyond clothes, beyond the
concept of a label, to the level of something almost spiritual that
his collections impart. It's no wonder that each
Dior Homme review published on fashionlines.com is widely read across the planet
- from the U.S., to Japan and China, to the bleakest corners of the Middle
East and Africa.
The movers and the shakers of the fashion world know that too, and so they
turned out in the darkness of a cold January evening to see Hedi's ninth collection
for the label. The Atelier Bérthier was bathed in red lights, and miniature
bottles of Moët Chandon Brut Impérail disappeared with incredible
Yoko Ono sat first row, and spoke her mind. "I think Hedi's work for Dior has
a very sensitive side," she said, "and sophisticated."
Next to arrive was Pierre Bergé, who escorted Betty Catroux. "Of course
I'm still faithful to Hedi," he stated emphatically, in a reference to his
recent return to Saint Laurent Rive Gauche shows.
Betty backed him up. "This is a completely unique line".
Then it was Bernard and Hélène Arnault, who took their seats. "Hedi
has a lot of talent and a lot of personality," the LVMH CEO said. "And you
can see it in the clothes."
While Stephen Gan was showing off his Spring 2005 tux with a Harley-Davidson-esque
emblem emblazoned on the back, Elton John arrived wearing a split skirt, and
tie spiked with a diamond brooch. And finally, after everybody else was seated,
and the show nearly ready to start, Karl Lagerfeld made his entrance.
The lights came up, the rocking soundtrack broke out, and Elton tapped his foot
while Yoko happily clapped with the beat. Karl blew kisses to his friends, and
then the first model, eyes dripping with red rouge and glitter, hit the catwalk.
Knitwear was soon everywhere to be seen, in ski caps, in long twirling scarves,
in sweaters that looked to have been hand-crocheted by a 20-year-old. A surgically
cut leather jacket was emblazoned with a firework motif bursting into sparkling
colors. Tail coats fluttered and large bows dropped from lamé shirts.
An apricot-colored pair of lacquered jeans sparkled in the spotlight, and the
next minute a black leather jacket blossomed in a bouquet of black roses over
the heart. By the time a jacket with vibrant embroidery, which could have rivaled
the work of the petits mains of the Yves Saint Laurent haute couture atelier,
glittered along the catwalk, the 1500 or so guests had been completely seduced.
After a dark interval, where drummers climbed into eight perches high above the
floor, the finale broke lose in complete darkness - the silhouette of black capes
worn over the shoulders by models in ribbon-twirled fedoras brought the show
to a magnificent conclusion.
Backstage afterwards, a party atmosphere was in full blossom. Elton John certainly
had a lot to say. "It's superb - Hedi is always pushing the envelope, and I
don't know where he finds all his skinny boys. If I were younger, I would buy
everything - but now it's up to David."
Karl was greeting his fans, each finger dripping with sterling. "I would love
to do the same thing with couture," he confessed. "But the problem is that
girls just don't rock as well as boys."
Hedi was completely calm and relaxed, and you get the sense that he's finally
gotten acclimated to the blinding limelight. And the question I asked him,
was probably the one every Generation I teen across the planet wants to know. "No.
I didn't write the poetry," he said. "It was sent to me by a fan."
I DON'T KNOW
WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT
AND I TRULY HOPE THAT EVERTYHING IS ALRIGHT
I AM ONE OF THOSE WHO IS HOLDING BACK FROM JUDGING
THE WORST THING IS NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU LET ME DOWN, I CAN'T STOP CARING
MY HEART IS IN TATTERS
AND FOR WHAT?
FOR SOMEONE WHO I HAVE NO CONTACT WITH
I DON'T UNDERSTAND
THIS IS HOW MUCH I CARE
YOU CAN TURN AROUND
BREAK HUNDREDS OF HEARTS
A SINGLE INSTANT
SOMETHING I COULD NEVER COMPREHEND
MY HEART IS BROKEN
AND THE WORST PART IS
I FEEL RESPONSIBLE