Lone Star State Dior Men
Kim Jones has made Dior Men the king of cool collaborations, though his latest linkup – with Texan rap star, producer and style setter Travis Scott in the Paris house’s Spring/ Summer 2022 collection, was probably his most powerful to date.
Though working remotely separated by the Atlantic, this Dior Men Spring/ Summer 2022 collection was infused with lots of Scott’s wit, vigor and edgy street style. That and plenty of his roots in his hometown, the former Spanish mission town of San Antonio.
Which connects him to the house’s founder, seeing Texas was the first state Monsieur Dior visited in America back in 1947, when he went to receive the Neiman Marcus prize and fell in love with the Lone Star state.
Travis even dreamed up a great new version of Dior’s iconic saddle bag, revamping it as a two-pocket pony express rider mini fantasy bag with an inverted horse-shoe as its handle.
Staged inside Les Invalides, Jones had producer Es Devlin conjure up a great set where French neo-classical wrought-iron gates covered in roses encountered gigantic cacti and immense mushrooms, in a psychedelic take on a Sam Peckinpah western scene.
That cactus theme even appeared in the first high-end pearl necklace for Dior Men, courtesy of the house’s high jewelry designer Victoire de Castellane – finished with cacti and prairie flowers, and costing a whopping 500,000 euros.
“I always wanted to do something with Victoire. I had never done this before, so she came up with a half-million-pound necklace with cacti! I think it’s nice to work with all the aspects of Dior. It’s a house where you have to work with everyone. Everything that I do I have to think how it’s related to Dior, and Christian Dior himself,” explained Jones.
Last year, Scott even founded the Cactus Jack Foundation to help aid young people gain access to education, including linking up with the Parsons School of Design to establish a fashion program. Jones, who took his bow with Scott at the finale, even entitled the collection 'Cactus Jack Dior.'
Though largely composed of upmarket streetwear, Jones showed plenty of striking tailoring – cutting close to the body in the latest versions of his Dior signature wraparound jacket. For next spring it is made in Panhandle sunset hues of rose and sand; nipped at the neck with diamond cacti and paired with hyper-flared trousers. Cut at the side, though not for cowboy boots but instead a series of new skate-inspired sneaker with a sloped plateau.
Though Kim’s best jackets were a series of impeccably cut boleros in faded ecru and light blue, their sleeves finished Spanish-style with large metal studs. An entirely fitting reference seeing San Antonio was still part of the Spanish Empire until the mid-19th century.
While Jones’ black silk redingotes had plenty of gunslinger gusto; latter-day downtown hip hop Wyatt Earps with chains dangling from hip and breast pocket. Instead of ten-gallon hats, milliner Stephen Jones dreamed up hybrid French-bob-meets-American-beanie. Revolutionizing the archive, Jones whipped up a new Wild Bunch toile de jouy, with desert scenes in several looks.
While for the red carpet moment or next major gallery opening, hardcore Dior fans will want the oversized white shirts engulfed in great abstract prints from paintings by artist George Condo.
Commercially savvy throughout – from the bison head or broken-pattern oblique knits to the side-studded cargo shorts – the collection looked pretty perfect in the arty Tombstone set, built inside a massive tent at the back of Les Invalides.
As the cast gathered for a backdrop and Jones and Scott embraced, the applause was muted, inevitable for a show where social distancing was strictly enforced and people sat a meter and half apart.
But make no mistake, this was yet another winning Dior Men collection by Jones, iconoclastically reinventing the house’s DNA, even as he respectfully mined its archives.
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