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“Some Things Can Never Be Spoken”

By Timothy Hagy

PARIS, July 5, 2005 - There’s an emotional quality to Hedi Slimane’s work for Dior Homme that’s nearly impossible to communicate in words. It’s a feeling that permeates each collection. It swirls down the catwalk, striking like a lightening bolt at the heart and soul of a new generation.

“Some things can never be pronounced Some things can never be spoken”

It was there in the white carton that served as an invitation to the Summer 2006 collection shown Tuesday evening at the Théatre de l’Europe aux Atelier Berthier on the outskirts of Paris. Inside were a series of black and white leaflets emblazoned with images and poetic fragments that communicate volumes:

“We ruled the world

U used to fall in love with everyone And if I start a commotion

I don’t like French kissin

If I have to cut my hair?

I end up chasing U, and U, and U too I just want a lover like any other

It’s spinning round

I’m the boy about town that you’ve heard of

Buy me a cherry face now Buy me a rubber ball now Buy me anything I want

I think it’s U I can’t be sure

I have seen sex and I think it’s alright I have seen sex and I think I like it.

The boys all shout The boys all sing”

Read those lines to a 20 year old and see what happens. That powerful connection with the here and now is the reason why the elite of the fashion world began to gather before the show, quickly filling the 210 seats in the small, rectangular theater. And it seemed at times to be a big reunion: Sydney Toledano, President of Dior Couture, Yves Carcelle, President of Louis Vuiton, greeted Hélène and Bernard Arnault like old friends. Delphine and Antoine Arnault posed for pictures.

Then there was Pierre Bergé,cofounder of the House of Yves Saint Laurent, with Betty Catroux. Bergé shielded his eyes against the flash of paparazzi swirling around Karl Lagerfeld, and then kissed the couturier on his cheek.

Karl said, “Of course I lost all that weight to get into Hedi’s clothes - Dior only comes in small sizes!”

Kal Ruttenstein, Senior Vice President of Bloomingdales, sat down beside David Furnish.

“I love fashion,” David said. “I think it’s a barometer of the times we live in.”

Then everyone made room for Mick Jagger, who arrived seconds before the lights dimmed.

As the show began, the six glass panels that bisected the runway turned magically transparent and then lifted to the ceiling.

And what soon passed down the catwalk was a collection that pushed the codes of men’s fashion further down the rode. Aside from the exquisite laser-cut suits that have made Hedi famous, the vocabulary was enlarged this season to include a new cut of Spencer, slashed midway down the back, with tails swirled in the front. A tuxedo was literally hacked off at chest level to become a sort of Bolero. But the real tour de force was a collection of T-shirts that were split at the sides, necklines erotically draping down the chest. Elsewhere pants sparkled in silver, and new textures of patterned lurex were molded into evening wear.

Jeans were worn with crossed red suspenders, and shirts were sprinkled with silver studs.

The finale of muscle shirts worn with jeans or sparkling pants not only reflected the way young people dress today, but exuded that bubbling sensuality that has become synonymous with Dior Homme.

Backstage hoards of journalists were attempting to crowd around Hedi, held back by a flotilla of security guards.

“It was just a fun show,” the designer said by way of explanation. Hedi, who was celebrating his 37th birthday, looked awesomely comfortable in the limelight.

This collection was Dior Homme at it’s best, and men’s fashion simply doesn’t get any better than that.

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