Kim Jones on his spectacular Dior show set, which saw models appear from the floor

Kim Jones’ show set for his latest Dior menswear collection in Paris saw a series of lifts make models appear from – and disappear into – panels in the floor

Dior menswear show set by Kim Jones
The show set for Kim Jones’ latest menswear collection for Dior, which he said was meant to evoke ‘a mechanical garden’
(Image credit: Photography by Alfredo Piola, courtesy of Dior)

Prior to Kim Jones’ latest menswear collection for Dior, there were whispers of a spectacular show set. After all, his tenure so far has seen him conjure a series of dramatic backdrops – from a painstaking recreation of Paris’ Alexandre-III bridge to a constructed countryside garden planted with over 9,000 real wildflowers (he even lit up Giza Pyramids with a laser-and-light show as mise en scène for his Pre-Fall 2023 show in Egypt in 2022). 

And there was even more reason for anticipation. As the metal invitations for the show – embossed with a number five – suggested, it was Jones’ fifth anniversary at the house, the collection itself a celebration of the landmark. The show’s location was also new, Paris’ École Militaire, where Dior had constructed a vast grey box for the occasion in the grounds of the 18th-century military college (to add to the scene, the Eiffel Tower loomed tall behind). On entry, though, there was initially little to see – the runway a stark, expansive metal grid, along which attendees watched on from blocks of raised seating. 

Kim Jones on his rise-and-fall set for Dior men’s show

Dior menswear show set by Kim Jones

A series of panels opened as the show began, through which models emerged wearing Kim Jones’ latest Dior menswear collection

(Image credit: Photography by Adrien Dirand, courtesy of Dior)

As the lights dimmed and the show began, a magic trick: 51 panels on the floor lit up and slid open, out of which the entire cast of models rose upwards on individual lifts to present the entire collection at once. A spontaneous round of applause from the audience accompanied the spectacle, as attendees clamoured to capture the moment of their phones. Once up, the models circled the space one by one, before standing back on their panels and disappearing again in threes. (Every model rose and fell one final time for the show’s finale).

‘I suppose the set could be seen as an abstract garden,’ Kim Jones told Wallpaper* of his inspiration for the spectacle the day after the show. The garden has been a prescient inspiration for Kim Jones in his tenure so far – for S/S 2022 looks came complete gardening aprons, gloves and sun hats – and provides a link to house founder Christian Dior himself. An avid gardener, his obsession with flowers came from a childhood watching his mother tend her beloved rose garden in the family home in Granville, Normandy.

Kim Jones Dior menswear collection

The headwear for the show, created in collaboration with Stephen Jones, were meant to evoke flowers

(Image credit: Alfredo Piola, courtesy of Dior)

‘Particularly with the boys wearing hats, as they rise through the floor, they’re almost like plants growing – like a mechanical garden where the hidden is revealed,’ he continues, referencing the colourful knitted beanie-style hats created in collaboration with Stephen Jones which were adored with flowers and feathers. ‘The hats echo the organic shapes of flowers, and it all felt like a new way to interpret Christian Dior’s garden now.’

Of the collection itself – which referenced the work of the house’s previous creative directors, including Marc Bohan and Yves Saint Laurent – Jones said it was ‘all about the clothes’. ‘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. And for the first time in our collections, it is a collage of influences from different Dior predecessors and eras we wanted to pay tribute to at once.’

Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*, joining the team in 2022. Having previously been the digital features editor at AnOther and digital editor at 10 and 10 Men magazines, he has also contributed to titles including i-D, Dazed, 10 Magazine, Mr Porter’s The Journal and more, while also featuring in Dazed: 32 Years Confused: The Covers, published by Rizzoli. He is particularly interested in the moments when fashion intersects with other creative disciplines – notably art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and reporting from international fashion weeks. Across his career, he has interviewed the fashion industry’s leading figures, including Rick Owens, Pieter Mulier, Jonathan Anderson, Grace Wales Bonner, Christian Lacroix, Kate Moss and Manolo Blahnik.