"Dior is an haute couture house: it is all about the clother. At the heart of Dior is silhouette, shape, technique and fabrication of the very highest order. I like to think that in my five years of being here - this is my fifth-anniversary show and collection - I have never forgotten this. It's a culture we have inherited from womenswear past and applied to menswear present. And for the first time in our collections, it is a collage of influences from different Dior predecessors and eras we wanted to pay tribute to at once - together with some of our own. All are connected through texture and technique alongside some of the Dior pop icons, particularly the cannage." Kim Jones
From the silhouettes of Yves Saint Laurent to the embroideries of Gianfranco Ferré; the cabochons of Monsieur Dior to the textures of Marc Bohan. A collage of influences and pop iconography takes shape in a mechanical garden of 'Hommes Fleurs', simultaneously embracing tradition and subversion: from the feminine to the masculine; from the salon ton the street; from new look to the new wave.
An amalgam of autobiograhies joins Kim Jones' own in this, his fifth-anniversary collection and show at Dior. While once more, it is Yves Saint Laurent's silhouettes that hold sway and are mainly drawn upon for the artistic director's summer offering, transposed and transformed. The men's histories intertwine with a melding of the masculine and feminine, with british tailoring traditions and materials meeting that of the haute couture tailleur, revealing the roots of womenswear fabrications in the men's world after all.
Infusing all is a sense of crisp, playful modernity, practicality and ease. There is a flirting with pop excess that meets a combination of the formal and the casual in individual garments, a uniting of luxury with utility. Here, the appearance of simple and archetypal menswear items, such as the harrington, the polo, the crew neck and the cardigans, is transformed from the ordinary to the extraordinary through symbolic techniques that traverse time and styles at Dior: tweeds, embroideries and cannage.
Saint Laurent's tailoring is once more transmuted into the men's world, with a particular focus on the volumes, vents, pleats and necklines from his 1959 collections. Here they appear effortless in relaxed masculine suiting, summer ensembles and sweeping coats. In contrast, shoes take on the inspiration of 1995's Lady Dior bag, with a new circular logo on heavy-soled loafers and slides that purposely conjure new wave crepe. Meanwhile, a multiplicity of bags appear in a variety of shapes, colors and textures; from pop fluorescent Saddles to cognac cannage satchels, extravagant to sober with utilitarian tweed rucksacks and leather rolled sandwich bags in between. Stephen Jones reinterprets fashion new wave beanies that are also part liberty caps. Here' the cockade is replaced by 'Ronghua', exquisite velvet flowers that have been produced in China since the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Adapting colors for the collection, Ronghua masters worked closely with the Dior ateliers to transform their tradition and celebrate the elegance of today more than ever.
Production/ Direction: Villa Eugénie
Music: Simon Parris
Styling: Olivier Rizzo
Casting: Shelley Durkan
Make-Up: Peter Philips for Dior
Hair: Guido Palau
Hats: Stephen Jones
Dior Joaillerie: Victoire De Castellane
A warm thanks to the ateliers and the suppliers of the house