Dior Men: Dandy militarism before a private audience
No live runway show, but some phygital fun from Kim Jones at Dior Homme, who melded the tropical moodiness of artist Peter Doig with the pop militarist mode of his imagination.
Staged in a De Chirico-like set with giant plywood horn speakers, the cast marching at a very brisk pace, the online action unfolded with a hirsute model in golden embroidered paisley frock coat. Followed by posh soldierly pajama looks, with piping; multiple buttons and officer’s dog collars. Athletic side-stripe slack tucked into cavalry officers boots; vertical ribbed cable sweaters jazzed up with silver military honors.
Plus lots of Stephen Jones fetish bad-boy berets. In yet another great assist from Jones, London’s coolest milliner sculpted mini bowlers emblazoned with one of Doig’s blonde lion heads.
Throw in crisp suits cut with tunic jackets covered in frogging, and completed with fabric buttons, lifted from Monsieur Dior’s bar jackets - Militant Nehru jackets for today. Along with appealing sherbet-hued military trenches with shoulder loops and gold piping.
“The Ceremony of the everyday,” said Jones of this collection, who chose embellishments inspired by the Académie des Beaux-Arts.
The silhouette was larger, notably with a series of double-breasted coats with six-inch wide lapels, finished with contrasting piping. Best of all, a putty-hued suede caban which enveloped the torso. Hand-painted silk coats with Victorian prints of gents in toppers and regimental colonel’s feathered miter hats; and a great shaved mink coat in silvery purple cried out for magazine covers.
While a new man’s saddle bag, done in miniature in coppery leather, will keep the cash registers ticking over at Dior, France’s most important fashion house that includes men’s and women’s fashion.
This season, Jones’s latest artistic collaboration was with the great Trinidad-based painter Doig. His warm tropical hues added jolts of moody color to the palette . There is little militarism in Doig’s work, but lots of heart. His influence first apparent with a mottled tropical fauna daub painting done in a matching ensemble of jerkin, vest, pants and man's saddle bag. Doig even developed two animal emblems, specially created for this collection – one resembling Christian Dior’s dog Bobby. While a giant blanket also displayed his images.
Seconds after the show ended, Dior emailed editors a photo series of “celebrities in Dior Winter 2021-2022 men’s looks by Kim Jones to experience the digital show.”
Two of the celebs were Kate and Lila Moss, in the mink trench and a tropical print jumpsuit, respectively. Though the opening image was a bearded Doig in the aforementioned putty gray suede caban.
Though Jones has worked with a half dozen fine artists since arriving at Dior, Doig is unquestionably the most powerful of them all. All told, yet another impressive, at times beguiling, collection from Jones, even if it is not perhaps his greatest ever collection for Dior. Yet, nonetheless, doubly impressive considering Kim now has an evening job at Fendi, where he will debut next Wednesday with his first ever haute couture collection.
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