Kim Jones had been spreading the word on his first collection under the house of Dior for days before the show - a little gif of a bee, a snapshot of flowers, an interview with the New York Times, pictures of friends - Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell etc - all holding a little pink creature in a suit with dead-crossed-eyes by artist Kaws. The latter felt a little unorthodox for Dior. Collaborations are Jones’ speciality and under his eye, at Louis Vuitton, collections were transformed with Supreme or Christopher Nemeth. But a manga-meets-Disney cartoon? A far cry from the dark, tailored suiting that Kris Van Assche left behind. Perhaps that’s what Jones is bringing to the table: a fun, young element that appeals to those that loved the Fendi fur monster charms or Takashi Murakami florals.
As ‘Born Slippy’ blasted out over the speakers (Diplo was djing) models walked in the round, circling a giant flora statue by Kaws’ for Dior. The first look sent us into a frenzy - 'thank God, this is good'. A slick white and blue summer suit opened, it was fresh and light. Is that a sheer vest underneath? A monogrammed trainer? Onlookers were craning to get a closer look. Translucency was threaded throughout this collection with white monogrammed vest exposing nipple, delicate pinstripe trousers showing shorts underneath, and the most exquisite completely see-through shirt with ornate feather detailing, which appeared to float on air.
Jones, as most do for their first show at a house, had been looking deep into the archive of Dior as a starting point. Rather innovatively, Jones had been looking to Christian Dior himself, erring on the more personal attributes. For example, the beautifully delicate Toile de Jouy, which appeared on vests, jackets and clutches (the latter was handed out as an invite!), was the wallpaper at Dior’s original boutique at 30 Avenue Montaigne. The iconic Saddle bag was also revived and transformed for menswear, as it appeared as backwards facing fanny pack, mini clip-on bags, the bridge of a baseball cap and the flap of a rucksack - brilliant. Both the Saddle bag and the traditional Dior logo have been making a resurgence on eBay, Grailed, and Depop, and they were in full force here. Jones is tapping into the hype.
Another signal that Jones has his finger on the pulse - as if there was any doubt - was Jones’ appointments of Yoon Ambush as Dior Homme's jewellery designer and Alyx’ Matthew Williams on fastenings. Yoon’s jewellery was her typical thick chain stylings, but here given a femme twist in choker format and iridescence. Williams had taken his hugely popular rollercoaster belt from his brand Alyx and given it the 'CD' treatment on rucksacks and caps by master milliner Stephen Jones. One would have liked to see Williams’ detailing in the same silver as Yoon’s jewellery, nevertheless, both accessory accents were an edge amongst the organza florals and suiting.
The suiting itself nodded to haute couture in its finish and cut and appeared in shades of baby blue, soft pink and neon acid yellows. These paired with logo’d trainers and sheer delicate embroidery were a hybridisation of worlds. This collection was quintessentially Kim Jones but was it quintessentially Dior? One supposes that’s what makes Jones the perfect ‘house-hopper.' He can seemingly seamlessly tackle any house, morphing with the house’s typical tropes. Bravo Mr Jones!