"I had been thinking about the relationship between the ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn and Monsieur Dior. The masculine interpretation of this also involved thinking about her most famous dance partner: Rudolf Nureyev. Nureyev is entwined with my personal history becasue of my uncle, the photographer Colin Jones. Colin had been a ballet dancer, had a friendship with and photographed the star. The collection, or rather collections, are about contrast: the contrasts in the house of Dior in terms of ready-to-wear and haute couture. It's the difference between onstage and backstage; the life of Nureyev theatrically and in reality. Here it is a meeting of the dancer's style with that of the Dior archive." Kim Jones
A coming together both practically and poetically, of utility and lavishness, of the reality of ready-to-wear with the theatrically of haute couture. All comes to a point of amalgamation in the metaphorical life of a dancer, both public and private - that of Rudolf Nureyev.
For the first time this season, Dior Men's Director Kim Jones presents Men's Couture. Introduced as a separate entity alongside yet entertwined with ready-to-wear, the collections explore through the figure of Nureyev an idea of two lives lived. Nevertherless, both feature rigour, excellence, ease and discipline at their heart.
Once more drawing on the Dior archive inspiration, Saint Laurent's tailoring is again transmuted into the men's world, with a particular focus on his volumes, vents, pleats and necklines that run throughout. While Monsieur Dior's Bar features a new masculine iteration that combines with Jones' own Oblique - present from his collection for Dior - with its characteristic extended double-breated wrap united with a fluid bar waist curve.
A sixties and seventies straightforwardness is utilised in single-breasted simplicity with gently flared trousers in suiting realised in off tones of rich wool melange. Here Nureyev's style and that of the practising dancer come into play, an attitude also seen in zipped wool jumpsuits and shorts, second-skin ribbed knits and duffle-inflected outerwear together with sumptuous leathers.
In contrast, the world of the couture reflects the extravagance of his stage presence, of Nureyev's flamboyance, insolence and elegance, while at times mirroring his private passion for collecting antique textiles. This is particularly prevalent in the Kimonos that fully utilise ancient and practised hand techniques, realised by master craftsmen in Japan. The silver Uchikake Kimono with its prestigious Hikihaku weaving technique is based on one Nureyev owned and wore - it took ten people three months to complete it. It is also in the couture that archive embroideries come into their own, particularly that of the Debussy dress - a spectacular creation dreamed up by Monsieur Dior in 1950 and worn by Margot Fonteyn - reinvented here in a masculine iteration.
Accessories echo at once the simplicity, discipline and extravagance of the two worlds, sometimes at the same time. Echoing a dancing slipper while also drawing on masculine eveningwear traditions, a rigorous san crispino leather construction is contrasted with a silk-polyester Mary-Jane sneaker for men in the shoes. Softly constructed utilitarian bags that amplify house codes, such as oversized grained macrocannage camera and bum bags. Sumptuous velvet hats, originally designed by Stephen Jones in 1999 for Dior womenswear, now also find a masculine form as a twisted silk jersey dancer's turban.
The Dior winter 2024-2025 collection is shown in a presentation directed by Baillie Walsh with music by the composer Max Richter. Here Sergei Prokofiev's music has been specially 'revisited' by Richter for the show. The Dance of the Knights is featured, taken from Prokofiev's ballet Romeo & Juliet, famously danced by Nureyev and Fonteyn in London in 1965.
Production: Villa Eugénie
Show Concept: Kim Jones, Baillie Walsh
Music: Roméo et Juliette, Suite N°2, OP. 64B
Composer: Serge Prokofiev
Co-Writer: Sergueï Radlov, Adrian Piotrovsky, Leonid Lavrovski et Serge Prokofiev
© Première Music Group - Catalogue Le Chant Du Monde
Revisited by Max Richter
Music Supervision: Simon Parris
Movement Direction: Les Child
Styling: Melanie Ward
Casting: Shelley Durkan
Make-Up: Peter Philips for Dior
Hair: Guido Palau
Hats: Stephen Jones
Dior Joaillerie: Victoire de Castellane
A special thanks to
The Rudolf Nureyev Foundation
The Serge Prokofiev Estate
Flora Smith, Topfoto
Premiere Music Group
In Memory of Colin Jones and Michael Jones
A warm thanks to the Ateliers and the suppliers of the house