“A silhouette, silhouettes which appear and impose themselves more and more on the imagination. The sketches fix this work of the mind [...] But not as a static composition – no, these are silhouettes in motion.”Christian Dior
“I wanted to look at the archive, at the purity of the beginnings of the house, at its original impulse. We looked at the initial collections and focused on the architecture, taking these elements and transforming them almost instinctively in a masculine way for today, always keeping the joie de vivre at the heart of christian dior’s clothing.”Kim jones
A winter’s morning in Paris on the Pont Alexandre III... As the light changes, silhouettes emerge, in motion, reflecting the colours of the sky and the passage of time, of the history of Christian Dior – both the house and the man – and that of Kim Jones, artistic director of Dior men’s collections.
The looks reflect the movement of time and the continuum of designers who bridge the past, present and future of the house; changing from feminine to masculine, femme fleur to homme fleur, a living history always in flux and a tribute to heritage. The scent of lily of the valley fills the air, a symbolic and timeless bridge between nature and culture, love and luck so beloved of Dior.
On the 12th February 1947, Christian Dior presented his debut collection and its new look changed fashion forever. This season, and in the 75th anniversary year for the house, Kim Jones engages in the ultimate conversation and association – with that of Christian Dior himself. Here, the two men’s histories intertwine: from the gradation of greys and pastels to the meeting of british masculine tailoring with that of the haute couture French tailleur in the new, rough hewn, men’s bar silhouette.
All is unified by the timeless savoir-faire of the french ateliers; from the exuberance of archival embroideries employed with luxurious insouciance in surprising ways, to contemporary sportswear and technical materials borrowed from outerwear, utilized in an unexpectedly formal and elegant sense. In all there is an effortless mix of utility, formal and informal, a history brought to life for an easeful, contemporary existence, never losing sight of its essential joie de vivre.
Signs and symbols personal to Mr Dior proliferate throughout the collection: the star, the rose, the cannage, the leopard, the lily of the valley and the chain all link the past to the present day, particularly through the jewellery. Here, Victoire de Castellane’s diamond and emerald chain bracelet is joined by Yoon Ahn’s extravagances in a new decorative approach for men.
This extraordinary accessorizing continues in the bejewelled derby shoes, contrasted with the more utilitarian Dior by Birkenstock sandals – a fresh collaboration this season. Bags also explore the tension between the practical and the ornamental for men; the Saddle bag is joined by a new Dior Corolle Tote as well as a more structured vertical clutch, while playfulness and precision is crowned in the millinery of Stephen Jones in his reworking of Doris beret for men. It is fitting that Stephen Jones also celebrates a significant anniversary this year: 25 years as the house’s hat designer. Jones too is a further embodiment of this continuum: a link between the past, present and future of Dior.