Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
Monsieur Christian Dior had as much a public life as he did a private one. In his autobiography Dior, By Dior, he mentioned there being two of him—the actual and the imagined. For Spring/Summer 2019, Dior’s new artistic director of men’s collections, Kim Jones, was inspired by the actual one, and the private life in which he lived surrounded by art, family, and fabrics.
Seen in the collection, Jones translated and reimagined many creative outputs from the 1940s and on, such as a new emblem that pays homage to an original toile de jouy at the original boutique at 30 Avenue Montaigne, decorated by Victor Grandpierre. The feminine silhouettes and details of couture are a welcomed result on rounded shapes for the new men’s collection, too, with rounder shoulders, softer textures, and diagonal jackets that wrap around the body—a nod to a piece in Dior’s Fall/Winter 1950 collection. Pieces of the past were brought to life in new light in the show, anchored by and revolving around a monumental installation by New York-based artist KAWS.
The artist’s installation—BFF, a phenomenon of a character for its recognizable details—was the center of the show, acting as a small skyscraper at over 32 feet tall inside the domed presentation tent (that took around 100 people to construct). It took four days to construct out of foam, wood, polystyrene, peonies, roses, and moss—with the flowers placed in hidden pipettes with water. Bobby, seen as a dog-shaped perfume bottle held by BFF and reaching almost 6 feet tall, was made out of 3-D printed resin and had a painted finish.
“I really wanted to do something with of texture,” said the artist. “It’s a foam with peonies and roses pushed into it. 60,000 on the figure and 10,000 for any damages.”
Stationed around its base and on several rows of black scaffolding facing the piece in a theater-in-the-round setting, guests were then greeted by the new collection that passed by. Jones also asked KAWS to rework the house’s traditional bee icon, which was seen playful and with Xs over the eyes, similarly to the BFF works. We saw the new bee adorning many of the jackets, and as a keychain, as well, mixed into the colorful new wardrobe Jones debuted.
In addition to the revamped bees, and softer shapes and feminine silhouettes, Jones also showed a fusion of sportswear and couture—an offering that represents a strong contemporary take on masculinity seen so prevalently today. Floral motifs and feather embroideries overlaid with vinyl make appearances, as do regal colors that Mr. Dior once loved for its Edwardian charm—blue, pale pink, and white.
We also see the Dior gray and touches of gold, an homage to the house and the man. Inside-out jackets show lining marks and decadent overlays of organza; pinstripe coats have multi-layered flaps and butler tails; a transparent, shiny rain jackets was worn over floral button-down and shorts; a one-button, diagonal closure suit jacket hung low and loose; and an array of new sneakers, bags, and accessories treaded down the runway in a variety of colors.