Kim Jones has always been smart about the houses he works for. Like a Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel and Fendi, he knows how to seize aesthetic codes, transform them and give them a topicality: the heritage does not scare him, on the contrary, he stimulates this Briton who shares also with Karl Lagerfeld a rare power of work – moreover he succeeded him at Fendi.
In Paris, Kim Jones presides over Dior’s masculine destinies: a month after presenting the fall 2022 collection in London, the Parisian show for the giant’s winter 2023 collection on avenue Montaigne, on January 21, 2021, was the metonymy of this mastery in the appropriation and transformation of the label’s attributes. Seventy-five years after Christian Dior’s first show, he’s having a field day;
Bar suit and embroidered flowers
He thus appropriated iconic pieces such as the bar suit from 1947: “The tailored construction of this feminine jacket allows it to be transferred into the male wardrobe”, he explained to Le Point a few days before the show, showing how the art of tailoring is underlined by clean edges and hand-sewn stitches that structure the whole. Better than a gender manifesto. The same translation in a coat with a huge shawl collar from the archives and reinterpreted in cashmere, in the leopard print straight out of the locker room of Mitza Bricard, muse of Christian Dior, or in the flowers of a couture dress by the founder of the house: embroidered on organza, they are the male ornament par excellence.
This floral antiphon dear to Christian Dior becomes one of the recurring themes of the collection, whether it is sung in knitwear, whistles in embroidered detail on the back of a suit collar, is available as a gardening set or in a precious case. of leather for bouquet of flowers.
This new masculinity in Kim Jones combines extreme sophistication of the subject and ability to translate it into products of immediate desirability. From the drape of coats to the comfort of cashmere pants, from shoe jewelry to the high jewelry bracelet created especially by Victoire de Castellane and worn simply over black knitwear, from trench coat to knitwear, from cannage coat to loose oversized shirts, derby at the embroidered Birkenstock – the collaboration of the season – there is no break.
The spectacular – even in the reproducing decor, in a huge box erected on the Place de la Concorde, nothing less than the Alexandre-III bridge – respond to whispering, attention to detail and intimacy in a palette of Dior gray, black, creams, giving softness and this je-ne-sais-quoi of Parisian and ultimately very French. All with the British step aside not of one Jones but of two: the hatter Stephen Jones – with whom Kim Jones greeted at the end of the show – celebrated with the creations of berets from the collection his twenty-five years of collaboration with Dior. As they left, someone was humming “Y a d’la joie”.