“It’s my three-day U.S. trip, I guess,” said Kris Van Assche, Wednesday from The Webster. The artistic director of Dior Homme, who is celebrating a decade with the house, was popping into Miami for just 24 hours before jetting off to L.A. for another Dior Homme happening, then back to Paris.
Van Assche was on hand to present his Black Carpet collection as well as a collaboration he did with Paris’ Laffanour Galerie Downtown with a Dior Homme dinner at the boutique, drawing Ricky Martin, A$AP Rocky, Snoop Dogg’s son Cordell Broadus and more.
The bottom level of The Webster was aglow with an installation of the original Akari light sculptures by Isamu Noguchi (which are owned by Laffanour Galerie Downtown); Van Assche customized six lamps in the style of Noguchi, using Instagram photos of flowers from his account.
“I’ve been a big fan of the gallery for forever and I always pop in and out but we never get to do something together,” Van Assche said before dinner, a Japanese-themed meal. “But since they are here for the design fair, and I’m here to present the Black Carpet collection, we felt that doing this together was a good start, but we should also try to do something together.”
The offer to customize the lamps “scared the hell out of me,” he said. “So it took me some time to get used to the idea and find the right way to go about it, but that’s what it became — it became my Instagram flower personalization.”
His approach was to pay homage to the original lanterns through materials, but incorporate his own urban aesthetic.
“We tried to find similar paper to the one he used for the lamps, and to use the glue that he uses to assemble the lamps,” he explained. “That is how I printed my photos on similar paper and printed them on top. So it was a very delicate way but there’s also the Kris Van Assche thing about it, which is the more urban side of things. They are my Instagram flowers, and the gluing is also kind of almost like when you glue party posters or concert posters in the street. So there’s something urban about it while it’s also very fragile.”
And is he himself a big art collector? “‘Big art collector’ sounds like a financial investment. I don’t look it like that at all,” he said. “But I do like to surround myself with things that touch me, that catch my eye. So yes, I’m sensitive to it.”