Even in pre-pandemic times, a DIOR show in London would have caused a commotion. Although the house first showed in the British capital in 1947 and presented the Resort 2017 womenswear collection at Blenheim Palace, one would naturally assume Paris to be its default destination. On the other hand, Creative Director Kim Jones is a Londoner and clearly holds the city close to his heart, so it was about time for the first DIOR MEN show on his home ground.
And so, we flocked to West London in anticipation of something quite special and were not disappointed. As a teaser of the literary inspiration behind the collection, guests entered via a gallery space where they could peruse at leisure Jones’s impressive collection of rare books before making their way to the catwalk.
Before the models emerged, a supersized scroll covered in what appeared to be typewritten script unfurled slowly down the length of the extensive runway. Despite rumours of appearances by the likes of Jones’s supermodel favourites Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell – or an inclusion of womenswear in general – this was strictly a menswear affair.
The show had a grand opening but was gimmick-free, allowing the collection to speak for itself. The inspiration – Jack Kerouac’s Beatnik classic On the Road – was evident, but expertly interpreted in an entirely fresh way. Yes, there were cropped jeans and trousers, skinny ties and lots of plaid, but this was not throwback fashion and it managed to avoid any 60s Americana cliches.
This is how the savvy sartorial man takes to preppy, turning it on its head with unexpected colour combinations, sequinned and shimmering – but far from blingy – details and sumptuous textures. Traditional plaids were brought bang up to date with nonconventional slices of pistachio and lilac. Fluid velvets in shades of chartreuse and icy blues softened boxy silhouettes. Subdued tones such as toffee, camel and rust were paired with pops of banana yellow, tangerine or turquoise and yet remained restrained enough to be entirely wearable. In fact, this was a very transitional wardrobe to see you from one season to the next.
words. Huma Humayun