Dior Men’s future civilization for today
Art imitated life, or rather fashion imitated art, in a memorably subtle and inventive menswear show from Dior by the house’s menswear creative director Kim Jones, staged in traffic-snarled Paris on Friday evening.
His unexpected idea, working in tandem with a major modern artist, Daniel Arsham, whose work focuses on deconstruction, decay, demolition and, at least this season, Dior.
Jones had telegraphed his intentions with this season’s coolest invitation -- a pale Dior grey nylon pouch done like a work of art criticism. Entitled, 'Je Suis Couturier', with a preface by Christian Dior, forward by Kim Jones and Daniel Arsham.
One of Arsham’s series was called 'Future Relics', but there was nothing leftover about this collection. It may have played with the notion of obsolescence and decay, but the result was a great expression of contemporary cool.
Jones even included a slim microfiber knit in what looked like cracked mortar, while his favorite hue was light concrete – not quite the deep grey of Monsieur Dior. The catwalk was in grey sand, and the set; four giant broken concrete letters reading DIOR.
"People forget that Monsieur Dior was a gallery owner for longer than he was a couturier. So, I think you should reflect that in your work," argued Jones.
Though this was also a highly respectful use of the house’s vast archives. Jones even used the 'Oblique' motif of Marc Bohan in an excellent link-up with aluminium travel specialist Rimowa; from suitcases to hand cases, one even bearing a bottle of Dom Pérignon. These looked very much like must-have items.
"A perk of LVMH is you get to work with the best," smiled the British designer.
While frequently blending in elements of sportswear, this often felt like men’s couture, so fine was the finish. Most notably a short series of jump suits, shirts and shorts in Egyptian blue toile de jouy, done by a pattern hand-painted by a Japanese artist.
"Dior is a couture house, so that should be evident in our menswear DNA," added Kim.
The designer revived an idea from his last show -- the sash -- cutting them into creamy crepe suits in pearly grey, and was not averse to a little of what the French call, provoc. He boldly sent out a half dozen men’s hijabs, very posh combinations of dessert headgear in pink, white or even a grey Dior graphic.
Staged subtly inside a tent beside the Institut du Monde Arabe on the banks of the Seine, the color scheme included off-white, pink and light grey -- just like the cracked logos on the boiler-suits worn by stage hands. The attention to detail was impressive. And talk about a designer fully in command of his atelier and creative team, which is what Jones is.
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