It feels like everyone in the fashion industry is currently in Japan. Valentino just held their debut pre-fall 2019 collection in Tokyo, Louis Vuitton is doing a press presentation of Virgil Abloh’s debut menswear offering in Tokyo next week, and Bottega Veneta is holding their own event shortly after. But, mark my words, when all the dust settles, everyone will still be talking about Kim Jones’ first-ever pre-fall 2019 men’s show for Dior in the Japanese capital.
The allure of Japan is multi-fold, but all roads trace back to the country’s unique blend of this reverence for the past, counterbalanced with its incessant obsession of revolutionising the future. And it is this combination of storied tradition with cutting-edge tech—looking back yet accelerating forward—that aptly summaries the guaranteed-to-be-a-commercial-hit pre-fall 2019 men’s collection for Dior by artistic director Kim Jones. Think: Sakura and houndstooth tweed (as a nod to heritage) presented side-by-side with metallics and robot prints (created in collaboration with Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama).
Click on the play button above, or ‘Listen in browser’ on your smartphones, to listen to the audio review as you scroll through the gallery of looks below.
Designer: Kim Jones
Show venue: Telecom Center Building, Tokyo
10-word show review: The future is Dior with metallic outerwear and Saddle Bags.
Favourite look: How do you choose from this entourage of hits? There was the opening look of a geometric turtleneck sporting a new futuristic ‘DIOR’ logotype tucked into grey wool trousers and anchored with silver vacuum-formed combat boots; the flowing silk separates of looks 5 and 8 emblazoned with a new Sakura and female robot print as idealised by artist Hajime Sorayama—the man responsible for the 12-metre high female robot centrepiece that dominated the circular runway; and those devastatingly chic one-and-a-half breasted knee-length coats in looks 2 and 16 that were cinched at the waist by industrial belts designed in collaboration with Matthew Williams of 1017 ALYX 9SM. But if push came to shove, we’re throwing our money down for those black leather kimono jackets in looks 44 and 45 that featured a cross-body double-wrap belt fastened with a ‘CD’ buckle. Futuristic ninja FTW.
Favourite accessory: There are the glistening steel baseball caps by milliner Stephen Jones (check out the cotton black caps with the DIOR logo and Sakura-pink cherry blossom prints if you’re after something a little less ‘look at me’); silver mirror shades that drip major Tron-like vibes; and bold metal-chain sling bags that could have been stolen from the set of Mad Max: Fury Road. Yet, it was the men’s Saddle Bag that, once again, had everyone talking after the show. But unlike the pebbled leather iterations (with a contrast top-stitching) that were introduced by Jones at his debut spring/summer 2019 show in June earlier this year, the pre-fall 2019 Saddle Bags were made out of metal (look 4)—that complemented the jewellery made from nuts and bolts designed by Yoon Ahn of Ambush fame—and includes a limited-edition minaudière version (look 34) that had show attendees salivating. Place your orders now.