Dior Men A/W 2019 Paris Fashion Week Men’s
Kim Jones presents a spectacular archives-inspired sophomore collection for the Parisian house
Mood board: Kim Jones is getting into the stride of applying the majesty of couture to men’s ready-to-wear. Until now he has advocated street-savvy savoir-faire yet his nascent work at Dior focuses much on its founder’s heritage. For A/W 2019 he drew on his time as a gallerist. The collection explored a sense of translation – between art and fashion, the space between masculine and feminine. The present and the past. Couture sangfroid for the street. Nylons were like silks. Animalier drapery and architectural tailoring came in a soft palette and deluxe textile. Animal prints were inspired by the Panthère motif, introduced by Dior in his first collection in 1947. It was joined by tiger and leopard print patterns on knitwear and intarsia furs. Jones is a chronicler of traditional values that reveal themselves in modern ways. The elegance of Dior’s sari-inspired ‘Soirée de Lahore’ dress from 1955 was here in the elegant evening tailoring. Swathes of fabric, buttoned into the inside of tuxedos, were wrapped around the torso to fall across the shoulder.
Team work: The season introduces a collaboration with American artist Raymond Pettibon, whose artwork for Black Flag and Sonic Youth helped define the punk aesthetic. Existing works and new whimsical paintings were used as prints and hand-knit embroideries in archetypal Dior colours of light blue, mauve greys, deep blue and black. The show was staged inside a purpose built black box, inside which a 72-metre-long conveyor belt became the catwalk. The models each stood stock still mirroring the heroic poses of neighbouring statues in the Tuileries Garden.
Finishing touches: Next month sees the opening of the V&A’s ‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams’ – the largest exhibition ever staged in the UK on the House of Dior. Curated by Oriole Cullen, the show presents around 500 objects that have shaped the codes that Jones is keen to unpick. It includes a kaleidoscopic display of vintage costume jewellery, hats, shoes and bags. For A/W 2019 Yoon Ahn created amulets and charms as a nod to Dior’s superstitious nature. The esteemed saddle bag was updated in leopard printed mink or nylon. Jones’s era at Dior is likely to be defined by his examination of the defining looks the house produced between 1947 and 1957 – Christian Dior’s own tenure. There’s a rich history here and Jones is in no rush. §