Style & Grooming

From the Archive: Dior Homme Photographed by Nan Goldin

To celebrate Nan Goldin’s birthday, we revisit the images she shot backstage at the Dior Homme by Hedi Slimane S/S07 show

For the A/W07 issue of Another Man, Nan Goldin – the American photographer famed for her portrayals of the LGBT community, sex and relationships, the HIV crisis and the opioid epidemic, as well as her family and friends – turned her lens to the models backstage at the Dior Homme by Hedi Slimane S/S07 show. To celebrate her birthday, we revisit these images, as well as the text that accompanied them, which is written by Susie Rushton and features an interview with Slimane himself about Dior’s skincare line, Dermo System.

The designer has personally directed the three-year development of the Dermo System, which launches in France in October and worldwide from January, from its earliest stages.

“It took forever to make,” he tells us, and, given Slimane’s reputation for rigorousness, its likely that the chemists at the Dior labs have been working at full stretch on this super-high-performance line. The two active ingredients common to all six products are beta-ecdysone (for cell regeneration) and vitamin E phosphate (an antioxidant that protects the skin from free radicals). The idea was to offer men the high-performance active products that have formerly been a female preserve.

Although the products are focused on improving skin texture and the appearance of ageing, he doesn’t see them as necessarily aimed at older men. In fact, “It is totally preventative, so it’s addressing young men. It is also good for girls to wear, if they don’t like heavy textures.”

Two products, a smoothing, revitalising serum and an eye serum, are designed to smooth fine lines. A repairing moisturiser addresses both unwanted shine and dehydration while sensitive complexions are treated and calmed with a soothing moisturiser. A single cleanser and a clay mask both aim to clarify skin.

Packaged in pleasantly weighty grey-glass or silver bottles cut with the Dior Homme trademark parallel “plissé” indents, and stamped with Slimane’s favourite sans-serif Helvetica typeface, Dermo System has all the makings of a cult beauty line.

“The most efficient skincare lines were dedicated to women, and men were offered basics or products that were overtly ‘male’ and prehistoric,” he dismisses. “It was about not feeling ambiguous.”

Disdaining the manly man, bergamot-and-leather-scented and budget-conscious template used by the traditional male grooming market, Slimane has devised for Dior Homme what he believes to be “the most premium, straightforward skin care system”.

He’s more ambivalent about the meaning of the finale at his latest Paris show: a young model wearing a pair of angelic white feather wings. “Some have seen Icarus, which could be an interesting metaphor,” says Slimane of the post-show analysis, then, deadpanning, “but instead of drowning in the sea, mine would crash on a dancefloor.”

A version of this article appeared in the A/W07 issue of Another Man.