Fashion is about change. Now on his third collection after a pre-fall outing in Tokyo last November, Kim Jones has surely produced a route to transform what men’s fashion at Dior should encompass. By bringing forth the requisite ingredients, he first created a new vocabulary exploring the depths of the house heritage and DNA in women’s haute couture. In doing so, a new seed and direction for the men’s collection was created. Rather than having models walk a usual runway, the show featured a mechanical airport size conveyor belt that transported the static models, standing still from one end of the tent to the other. But many aspects of technology, such as new fabrics, permeated the collection. Opening with a black double-breasted suit consisting of an armor vest embroidered with the artwork by Raymond Pettibon. Pettibon is an American artist who created drawings of protest posters and artwork for punk bands from SST Records starting in the early 80’s. Others similar to this embroidered armor vest appeared throughout the show worn as breastplates, over coats and jackets.
The jacket containing diagonal, side buttoning from spring season’s reworking of the Tailleur Oblique shape from the haute couture 1950 line, was updated. This time into looser fit knee length coats and jackets. These coats and jackets contained large silk sashes loping through the front side to the back side displaying the Oblique construction of asymmetry by sharpening the different lines and cuts of the jacket. A long silk scarf is attached to the inside of the wool coat and crosses the front of the body diagonally, wrapped around the waist and tucked into a ready-made belt loop. The sash can also be used like a regular scarf around the neck. Requiring over 1,800 hours of handiwork, one of the final pieces was topped with a fully Pettibon drawing, rendered with a fully embroidered face and words.
There was less emphasis on sportswear except for perhaps the reversible nylon, leather coat and hints of street wear, which were kept to a minimal. The black velvet logo tee-shirt was one of the few ‘street’ items that will be a hit item for sure in the stores. The show focused on a new construction of quality, like a black astrakhan coat. Partly embroidered by gold yellow thread that rendered the black fur imperceptible and transformed the astrakhan into a sort of animal print pattern when looked at from afar. No sneakers were shown, but plenty were available in the showroom. In fact, an entire wall was devoted to the variety of sneakers for fall, so sneakerheads don’t panic.
Now with the haute couture influence on a clear path, this show was more cohesive than the spring 2019 debut show. Jones has surely engaged with his findings in the archives and in the work with the atelier to perform feats of inventive techniques that would rival the womenswear counterpart.
The injection of Dior’s women couture heritage for this fall season felt seamless and less of an imposition. Having conceived a new language as a base that can propel Dior Men forward, Jones should now look outside into the world by not relying solely on the house’s heritage and its confines in the great craftsmanship to create and foster a real fashion discourse, but to absorb and cherish a new fashion tongue.
Photos courtesy of Dior