For his first pre-fall collection for Dior Men, artistic director Kim Jones combined the houses historic codes with futuristic landscape of Japan, taking the brand into the twenty-first century – including collaboration with Japanese contemporary artist Hajime Sorayama on the statue in the center if the set.
The links with the heritage of Dior are clear. Christian Dior was fascinated by the country, but Japan most specifically. Wide sashes draped and knotted like an obi, garments subtly crossing and gently holding the body, the soft line of a seamless shoulder, draped like a kimono all are delicate gestures drawn from traditional Japanese dress, present his collections and reiterated throughout his career.
Jones collection is a symbiosis of the traditional and the new, merging couture methodology with cutting-edge technology to create a fresh hybrid. Tailoring is streamlined and utilitarian, drawing on the idea of uniforms but eschewing uniformity. A trio of essential Dior elements – houndstooth tweed, the colour pink and the panthère print – are expounded, each manipulated and rediscovered.
Alongside the old, the new. Fabrics are treated with a technologically-advanced metallization technique, applied to entire items of clothing. This results in furs and leathers that glimmer like an automaton in iridescent blue and silver, while metallic-printed calfskin is laser-etched to give it the supple fluidity of silk. Cannage patterns are laser-cut into rubber and leathers, the patterns bonded to denims.
These accessories combine nylons with leathers, as well as the signature Dior Oblique canvas. Shoes are vacuum-formed, modernist, tipped in rubber and subject to the same innovative metalization treatments as the clothes, formal shoes and combat boots given the high-performance dynamism of sneakers.
Looks like Jones has found the ideal balance between the then, the now and the future.