KIM JONES’ appointment at Dior in 2018 was met with both intrigue and excitement. How was the British designer going to translate the couture heritage into menswear whilst still maintaining his contemporary touch? Well, five years later Jones’ spring-summer 2024 collection for the French House pays homage not only to his trailblazing years at its helm but also his predecessors.
What Jones has excelled in with every collection to date is his continued referencing of Dior’s history, bringing even the smallest details of Monsieur Dior’s touch to Marc Bohan’s subtle elegance to the present day.
Describing SS24 as a ‘collage of influences’ that are all ‘connected through texture and technique’, the designer’s latest instalment for the brand is an opulent take on everything that was before.
Beginning with silhouette, Jones returned to Yves Saint Laurent’s era at Dior – specifically his 1959 collections. Honing in on volumes, vents and pleats, whilst ensuring his own guidelines that reflect traditional British tailoring remain steadfast, the outcome was an array of slick yet relaxed forms as casual suits, mismatched ensembles, ankle touching wide-legged trousers and sweeping coats paraded in front of the audience.
Within these shapes, practicality was a consistent focus – he understands the needs of the modern man. Binding together utility with luxury, archetypal pieces like crew necks, polo shirts and cardigans became couture-esque pieces as they were heightened with meticulous hand-done embroidery, lightweight tweeds and cannage – all influenced by Gianfranco Ferré – and all functional.
Beyond the level of historic detailing, this also marked the importance of the very roots of Dior, with Jones even noting, ‘It’s a culture we have inherited from womenswear past and applied to menswear present’. These elements not only intertwine the framework of femininity and masculinity, but also highlight symbolic techniques exclusive of the couture tailleur, something rarely found in menswear and brought to the forefront of SS24.
And while his tenure at Dior has been marked with consistent collaborations, ranging from the likes of Shawn Stussy and ERL to Rimowa and Kaws, his fifth anniversary collection was all about him and Dior.
Though these crossovers bring noise and social traction, Jones proved he didn’t need any of that as he stood proud with this offering that cemented his own position within the history of the brand and celebrated its evolution to 2023.
by Imogen Clark