Kim Jones to design next season’s Dior Men’s collection takes inspiration directly from the Maison’s past to develop the present and the future: he goes back in time, to the moment of Christian Dior’s death in 1958, followed then by the arrival of Yves Saint Laurent takes over the leadership of the brand at the age of only 21. Jones reads this change as a renewal, trying to transfer the same values into next season’s collection. The designer is also inspired by the current of the rivers of Paris and London: the eddies and flows reflect movement, ease and fluidityin the show. The clothes seem to be hybridized and metamorphosed, changing appearance and shape depending on the person wearing them. The models enter the runway walking slowly, creating a relaxed atmosphere that is also reflected in the character of the garments, which are soft and clean.
The colors at the beginning of the show are neutrals, to which pale hues are later added, including light blue and yellow. The looseness and fluidity of the garments is immediately noticeable as the first look enters the runway: long ribbons that fall softly, coming out from under the jacket, and creating an extremely light and refined image of movement. The embroidery of small ton sur ton flowers that comes to life on single-sleeve sweaters is an acknowledgement to master Christian Dior, who loved spring and the plant world, particularly lilies of the valley. References to Saint Laurent’s time at the Maison are instead reproduced in Kim Jones’ study of the gray wool tunic, a revolutionary reference to traditional fishermen’s clothing, but updated and made totally contemporary. The designer also examines the young Saint Laurent’s penchant for animal prints, including one in the collection as a pattern on a long trench coat, and the way he created volume, repurposed in the openings of raincoats. During the show, knee-length baggy Bermuda shorts that in moving look like a skirt, worn with long socks coming out of boots which go up to mid-calf, caught the audience’s attention. Jackets with three-quarter-length sleeves cropped at the biceps by a drawstring alternate with padded vests which faithfully reproduce the shape of life jackets, these two elements are a strong sign of the contemporary feel Jones wants to instill in the fashion house. A long yellow oilskin worn with wide, long pants covering the shoes stands out on the runway, paired with a hat of the same color resembling the headgear worn by fishermen. Bags are carried by hand and over the shoulder, echoing the shapes presented on the runway for the women’s collection, presented on an evolution of the tailored suit, formed by a minimal single-breasted jacket without lapels and soft-lines pants.
“For me, I read it as about renewal and change; times changing, so it begins with Christian Dior dying, and then Yves Saint Laurent coming in and suddenly doing new things. And there’s a lot of me in it.”
“The idea of simplicity is felt everywhere behind the precision of these creations.”
Jones is a pioneer in researching and reworking street references and different worlds in his fashion vision, insisting on applying Christian Dior’s feminine designs to menswear. The défilé parades in front of a huge screen depicting the faces of Robert Pattinson and Gwendoline Christie reciting The Waste Land, T.S Eliot’s difficult and melancholy poem written after World War I. The performance of the two actors gives the show a solemn character, contributing to the elegant movement of the garments as they parade relaxed down the runway. It is interesting how the designer managed to use such a challenging poem as the background of the entire fashion show, making it here pleasant and fresh: in fact, Jones once again amazes, presenting innovative garments by skillfully mediating between history and the future.