Set inside the same vast warehouse as Kris Van Assche's eponymous collection was shown yesterday, Dior Homme's catwalk area was a raised white square in the midst of grey concrete industrial oblivion: the Isle of White. Chairs formed the border, and two huge transparent spherical circles of fabric hung in the centre from which models would appear, casting multiple shadows as they walked.
Moments before the show started, Karl Lagerfeld appeared, forcing a communal hush as audience members grabbed for their cameras. As soon as he took his seat, drum beats heralded the beginning, accompanied by women's voices whispering chants like a secretive religious rite.
Despite a predominance of coats, the collection was so light it looked weightless. Everything was fluid, each piece had movement. It was classic Kris Van Assche - oversized cloaks with drop-crotch, slim pants; tucked-in crossover shirts; tiny collars; four colours on offer: black, white, charcoal and oatmeal.
No garment was without a quirk of design - a vest had an asymmetrical shoulder detail, tee shirts in finest wool suiting were cut long on one side, jackets were one-sleeved, black trench coats had white stitched storm flaps, blazers had no buttons.
The final section featured three floor-length coats - half tailored, half unfinished. One was sleeveless; another one part-suit, part-shawl; the finale a one-sided vest that trailed off the body in a long sheet of cloth.
Dior Homme helmsman Kris Van Assche is a fashionista's designer; his collections are filled with all manners of aesthetic-pushing elements. This season, it paid off.