Kim Jones has remade Dior Men from top to bottom!
In the 18 months since his debut with a global team, with artist collaborations, and with a Saddle Bag for dudes, to say nothing of the pageantry he’s brought to the house’s pantsuits.
But the most Jonesian development of all is the synthesis of high and low, couture and street. So integral is this intermingling to his Dior Men project that Jones rejects distinctions between the categories as old-fashioned and out of touch.
“Today, people buy what’s the best” he said in a pre-show interview, the implication being that Dior Men is deserving of the superlative.
The sales results bear that out, and Jones’s show in Miami Beach tonight should only make them rosier. Let’s start with the little matter of the collaboration with Shawn Stussy, who reimagined the house logo and bee.
When the partnership was announced a day ahead of the show, the internet lit up with anticipation. Jones has a preternatural ability for creating buzz; recall the Supreme collaboration he engineered while still at Louis Vuitton.
On the surface, the Stussy arrangement might appear shrewd a Supreme redux for his new French label but it’s absolutely authentic. Jones began buying Stussy at 14 with money he saved up from a job washing dishes at a cafe, and he remembers copying Stussy’s familiar scrawl in his school notebooks.
“I don’t choose people just because they’re famous,” Jones said. “When something becomes as iconic as that, it’s in the culture, and culture is what I’m interested in.”
There are doubtless many other fans out there eager to see Stussy’s first work in years (he sold the company he founded in 1996), ditto Air Jordan acolytes. A new Dior Air sneaker made in Italian factories using the same leather found on the French house’s bags and featuring the trademark swoosh in the Dior Oblique logo jacquard had its coming out on the PRE-FALL 2020 runway.
“It’s been upscaled,” said Jones, who would know. Air Jordans are one of the things the designer collects; he has upwards of 40 pairs. But the famous sneakers were only the beginning of the street/chic blending here. Camp shirts in the classic Stussy style were minutely beaded; one fantastic example took 2,600 hours to embroider.
Dior has connections to the Miami area, including what Jones described as a “huge flagship” in Havana, and he layered in nods to the place by lifting his pastel-y palette from the local architecture and adding native blooms like frangipani as well as Dior’s treasured lilies of the valley, rendered exquisitely in cotton cloth by Stephen Jones, to the brims of bucket hats and jacket lapels.
The structural flourishes that have made his tailoring up until this point so definitive (and that have recently begun appearing IRL; see: the Tailleur Oblique–cut Dior Men suit Daniel Craig wore to the Knives Out premiere) were somewhat sidelined here in favor of a more sportif mood.
Sartorialists need only wait until mid-January when the brand’s winter 2020 show is on the Paris schedule; Jones promised that it will be “really tailored and super couture.” In the meantime, he’s more than earned the right to indulge his own obsessions, low, high, or otherwise.