Dior Fall/Winter 2020 Men’s. Paris, France
Just six weeks ago Kim Jones showed his last menswear collection for the house of Dior in Miami. There, a collaboration with streetwear OG Shawn Stussy – a partnership to end all luxury streetwear partnerships. This season was different.
A new decade, a new direction. A return to tailored elegance, as general thread running through this men’s season. It’s been almost two years since Kim Jones took over as artistic director of Dior Men’s, meaning the blockbuster collaborations with artists like KAWS and Daniel Arsham that defined his Dior at the start, are no longer necessary to push his vision for the house forward
That leaves room for personal reflection. Jones’ Dior has brought a new collaborative spirit to luxury menswear where he’s put the next generation of creatives like Yoon Ahn and Matthew Williams to a global stage, while staying true to the brand’s couture roots. “Kim has a special talent of bringing together people who have good energy. It’s like a big family,” model Peter DuPont, who has been walking for Dior since Jones’ debut collection describes it pre-show.
Legendary London punk stylist and designer, Judy Blame, was that guiding light for Jones. “ I actually met Judy in a club when I was probably around 16 and I’d seen him in magazines and I can’t actually believe I went up to him,” says Jones. “I still have the card he gave me with his phone number on it. He was just so impressive, but also terrifying. I just felt compelled to go up to him and tell him how much I liked his work.”
Upon Blame’s passing in 2018, the two had become good friends, and collaborated on Jones’ Fall/Winter 2015 collection (an homage to Christopher Nemeth) for Louis Vuitton men’s.
Today at Dior the show was dedicated to the memory of Blame who was much adored by the fashion industry, influencing a whole generation of designers, stylists and photographers. Always pushing the boundaries of the meaning of couture, making trophies from scraps. Next to Blame’s classic way of dress, berets (here made by milliner Stephen Jones) and pins and jewelry made from recycled bottle caps, buttons, safety pins and any other scrap the designer could find, couture, as Blame liked it, saw new heights with a bejeweled car coat (created with Jones by Dior’s textile consultant and designer Edward Crutchley). The garment took 940 hours of hand-embroidery to make, according to Jones and was a take on a women’s couture dress that Marc Bohan created in 1969 while at the helm of the house. “It’s amazing to be able to do things like that.”
“Miami was really fun and exciting but I wanted to just go back to what Dior was. Go back to the elegance. There are no collaborations but it’s a tribute to my friend Judy Blame,” says Kim Jones in a preview of his collection an hour before the show. “It took a long time for people to get over his death but now it’s time for the next steps. It’s a quiet classical collection in a certain way but there’s grunge in there. Quite a London look in there. Judy collected a lot and [that way] people don’t go away anymore. That’s one nice thing about it.”
Collaborators Weigh In
“A lot of love went into this. I’m so proud of Kim and his team. Beyond all expectations. Judy would love this, it’s so chic. I can see him scanning the rounds just making his orders. I can hear his little voice in the background, because he had a quite particular way of working. He had really good humor so he would probably say something rude. He would be really happy.” – Carly of The Judy Blame Charitable Trust
“[Judy] is one of my heroes. All his work is something that led me to jewelry design. It was about capturing the spirit and the energy of it. Obviously safety pins as that’s what he was known for and put Dior’s CD in there. Those details that all go in, when they all come together you can see who Judy Blame was. It makes sense to bring that punk element in, not in the traditional way but because of his spirit, he never went with any rules when he created.” — Yoon Ahn of AMBUSH and director of Dior Men’s accessories
“It really feels like Kim, this collection. The subtle notes to Judy Blame are apparent—all the accessories and jewelry.” — Matthew Williams of 1019 ALYX 9SM and Dior Men’s accessories
“The soundtrack (Fleetwood Mac – Big Love) is a tribute to Judy Blame. Kim has so much love and reverence for what Judy did as an artist that I think the lyrics of the song was just celebratory and having big love for Judy.” — Honey Dijon, DJ and musician who scored the show
Highsnobiety Shopping List
Judy Blame Brooch
Metallic elements engraved and embossed with the Dior logo appear on Blame’s classic brooches and jewellery throughout the collection. “We’re going to produce them because it’s very clearly Dior with Judy’s influence in it,” adds Kim Jones.
Evoking mid-20th century influences, this season’s best footwear didn’t come in Dior sneaker form. Instead, the military boots innovatively cut in zig zag with a double upper reflect Christian Dior’s love for architecture.
Ripped Cashmere Knit
“You got this grunge-y jumper in cashmere. Things that are very expensive and treated in a very nonchalant way. It’s very much a London thing.” — Kim Jones
“I actually love this bomber that’s zipped in half so you can play around with them and mix it up. The styling is very much a Judy thing.” — Kim Jones
“I really love the embroidery which is very beautiful, especially the final look which is really special.” — Matthew Williams, co-founder of 1019 ALYX 9SM