‘A tale of two gardens,’ says stage design supremo Es Devlin of the horticultural heritage of the Dior S/S 2022 menswear show set, a psychedelic landscape, part arid Texan desert, part pruned plot, which took three weeks to create at the Hôtel National des Invalides in Paris.

‘This is all started from Kim Jones’ initial sketch – a row of cacti transforming into roses,’ says Devlin, referring to the first set design drawing shared by the brand’s men’s artistic director Kim Jones. This image nodded to the floricultural foundation of the brand: the label is synonymous with the rose motif, the favourite flower of Christian Dior, who built a rose garden on the clifftop of his parent’s seaside Villa Les Rhumbs in Granville, Normandy. The sketch also made a botanical connection to the Houston birthplace of the brand’s S/S 2022 collaborator, the rapper and style icon Travis Scott, whose record label is called Cactus Jack. ‘He really thought of them like desert jewels,’ Devlin adds.

Dior S/S 2022 Texan landscape show set designed by ES Devlin

In an arid-meets-Edenic S/S 2022 runway landscape, giant roses and cacti sprout from rocky crags, where horned skulls of desert creatures scorch in the sun. Ornamental arches, alluding to the pergola at Christian Dior’s childhood home, trail with blooming roses. Jones also looked to the maison’s founder’s favourite flower for his debut S/S 2019 runway show, erecting 10m effigy designed by American graffiti artist Kaws, covered with a blooming bed of 70,000 peonies and roses. For an added psychedelic twist, meanwhile, the set for Dior S/S 2022 sprouted with spongy mushrooms.

‘Whether you come from Houston, from the land of cacti, or whether you come from the south of France, the land of fragrant roses, you can meet in the same place,’ Devlin says of the imaginative outdoor environment of the Dior S/S 2022 show set, which also symbolises the creative synergy between the brand’s heritage and contemporary collaborations. Green fingered design today defies convention and location. §

Dior S/S 2022 Texan landscape show set designed by ES Devlin
Dior S/S 2022 Texan landscape show set designed by ES Devlin