MANIFESTO

#63

CHANGE OF SPACE

FROM NEW LOOK TO NEW WAVE

2023.06.24

Text by Lucrezia Sgualdino

The Men’s Summer 24 collection designed by Kim Jones for Dior is a combination of aesthetic elements taken from the Maison’s past that are mixed with the designer’s creative flair. A fine line between tradition and subversion.

The Dior man on the runway for the upcoming Spring/Summer is mature and sophisticated, structured and avant-garde, modern and contemporary. The aesthetic presented in this collection is inclusive and personal, drawing expertly on the history of the Maison, the heritage of past creative directions, celebrating their most significant and representative details and characteristics, in a melting pot evocative of many great designers who have made the history of costume and fashion. Dior was born as a brand dedicated solely to women, here in fact emerges the desire to tell an inclusive and identity-based aesthetic: from classicism to modernity, from tailoring to streetwear, from feminine to masculine, from new look to new wave. From the silhouettes of Yves Saint Laurent to the embroideries of Gianfranco Ferré, from the cabochons of Monsieur Dior to the textures of Marc Bohan. Biographies from the Dior archive merge with that of Kim Jones, traditions and materials of British tailoring meet with elements of haute couture, revealing their roots and history. A vibrant freshness, dynamic and modern, practical and easy, yet sophisticated at the same time. Formal is found next to casual, luxury is combined with utility.

“At the heart of Dior is silhouette, shape, technique and fabrication of the very highest order. I like to think that in my five years of being here I have never forgotten this. It’s a culture we have inherited from womenswear past and applied to menswear present.”

– Kim Jones

Simple garments and menswear archetypes such as the Harrington, the polo shirt, the crew neck, and the cardigan. All are transformed from ordinary to extraordinary by symbolic techniques of workmanship and elements that span Dior’s time and styles: tweed, embroidery, and cannage. The tailoring presents a focus on volumes, slits, pleats, and necklines, clear references to the work of Saint Laurent. The men’s suit proposals appear relaxed and presented in bright, fluorescent colors that stand out from Dior’s vast offering of classic grays. “It’s my favorite color combination: gray and neon,” says Kim Jones. The color palette veers from the required peacock, cream, beige and ash tones that contrast with pop tones of light blue, yellow, fuchsia and lime. Shoes take inspiration from the iconic 1995 Lady Dior: the new loafers feature a new circular logo. Handbags, on the other hand, appear in an incredible variety of shapes, colors, and textures: from pop and fluorescent saddles to cognac-colored cannage satchels, utilitarian-inspired tweed backpacks, and leather rolled bags. Stephen Jones recreates a selection of berets in which the typical rosettes are replaced by ronghua velvet flowers produced in China by dynasties and worked for the occasion by Dior ateliers to transform tradition and celebrate elegance.

“It is a collage of influences from different Dior predecessors and eras we wanted to pay tribute to at once – together with some of our own. All are connected through texture and technique alongside some of the Dior pop icons, particularly the cannage.”

– Kim Jones

The large minimal set accompanies a défilé rich in inspirations, details and colors. The models literally emerge from the floor, from the same hatches that encompass them again once the runway is over. The atmosphere and setting is totally aseptic, to embrace more fully the many ideas gathered by Kim Jones for the upcoming men’s collection. The designer once again gives classic menswear a couture treatment, and evokes it even more clearly and decisively with a stream of references to British subculture. The soundtrack enhances the kaleidoscopic world designed for the occasion, with Jones at the center and archival pieces forming the colorful corolla that allows the viewer to shape multiple unique symmetrical structures.

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