Kim Jones' Dior Debut - Dior Men's Summer 2019
Last March during the musical chairs session of a few foremen in fashion, French luxury house Christian Dior announced British designer Kim Jones as the new creative director of Dior Men’s. This was only two months after Jones had stepped down from his seven-year tenure as artistic men’s director of Louis Vuitton.
In a chat with American performer RuPaul earlier this year, Jones revealed that following Kris Van Assche’s exit of Dior, the transition made to and from the LVMH owned houses was a choice he decided to make. “I love Vuitton as a brand and I enjoyed the team I worked with but I wanted to do something different so I had a chat with LVMH, and they understood the reasons I wanted to have a change as well and they agreed and believed in what I was doing. “ Having spent almost a decade shaping the direction of one of France’s oldest most exquisite houses, much was expected of the British designer and the new fruits to be bore under the Dior name . In a statement released by Christian Dior Couture Chief Executive Pietro Beccari he stated, “ I am delighted to welcome Kim Jones to Dior, I am confident that he will create an elegant men’s wardrobe both classic and anchored in contemporary culture, as well as continue to further develop Dior Men’s on a global scale.” Having officially been instated on April 1st, Jones’ debut was set to be the Summer 2019 menswear collection, which showcased in Paris last June. Leading up to the show, what was greatly emphasised was the instalment of change. Although Kris Van Assche steered the brand’s direction along the route he saw fit for eleven years, Kim Jones’ intent was evidently to adjust and reconstruct on his own basis, which began with the change of what we have come to know as “Dior Homme”, to “Dior Men’s.”
As he finally welcomed his audience to the barracks of the Republican Guard cavalry regiment in Paris, there stood a 33-foot-tall flower-made sculpture by U.S artist Kaws in honour of founder Christian Dior and his dog Bobby. The collection began with Prince Nikolai of Denmark, walking in a crisp white suit with panels of striped baby blue fabric which was followed by a compilation of an additional 48 looks that were influenced by Christian Dior’s private and creative life as well as his dog Bobby.
The collection’s construction included an evident reference to female couture in coalition with traditional menswear as well as sportswear values. This was brought out through rounded shoulders, eased shapes, slashed cowls on the back of shirts, toile de Jouy patterns inspired by Dior’s personal porcelain and floral feather embroideries overlaid with transparent vinyl by atelier Maison Lemarié. The colour palette was a breath of fresh air as it included soft hues of tennis whites, pink with greys, baby blues, browns, black and splashes of bright yellow. The season’s new jacket called the Tailleur Oblique was also introduced as a piece which wraps around the body diagonally which made appearances in brown, pink, blue as well as black. The designer also drew on Dior’s heritage for the introduction of a line of accessories which features the house’s iconic sale bag re-interpreted for men offered in cross body and , backpack and belt bag styles; leather murses and belts with the neoclassical CD emblem metal buckle designed by Matthew Williams. The collection was one that pushed the boundaries of traditional menswear and masculinity itself while acknowledging modern references of streetwear essential for a younger generation.