Kim Jones' love of travel has been well documented, one that he attributed to his nomad-like childhood. For Dior Men's spring/summer 2020 collection, Jones took us on a trip; not to some far-flung exotic location, but rather, through time. Jones dove into the rich archives of the house of Dior and resurfaced with codes that he reinterpreted for the future. Which was why the season's guest artist collaborator, Daniel Arsham, made sense. Arsham's landmark work, the 'Future Relic' series, saw him turn mundane items such as cameras, mobile phones and clocks into eroded sculptures. The idea was to take items in the present and imagine what they could look like when rediscovered in the future.
In an interview, Jones said, "It’s really interesting working with Daniel in the fact that he’s looking at things from the future. I always look at a collection from a perspective of what things will look like in 50 years time. It’s thinking about the legacy of the brand, and wear as well." Bonding over a shared notion of the idea of time, Dior Men's spring/summer 2020 collection saw Jones melding both his and Arsham's works to great effect.
First, it began with Arsham's personal uniform of unfettered trench coats and pale slacks, and the white-out universe of his work, translated into a series of minimalistic and monochromatic outerwear and tailored suits. Other references to 'Future Relics' included an eroded baseball cap, a faux-cracked T-shirt, a cracked Saddle bag in white, as well as the season's iterations of the B23 and B24 sneakers. While the collection also saw the return of autumn/winter 2019's moulage tailoring, Jones continued to push the boundaries of tailoring by proposing a new silhouette: a double-breasted number where the right lapel is flattened out and buttoned underneath the left.
The Oblique logo from the archives also served as a new print for spring/summer 2020, appearing on shirts and mock-neck sweaters. But Jones didn't stop there. He revived the iconic newspaper print from John Galliano's autumn/winter 2000 collection for the house, and gave the print an update to reflect the present state of the world. The prints were translated into a series of wonderful translucent bomber jackets, trousers and, of course, made their way onto a Saddle bag. Besides proposing a new iteration of the Saddle bag, the bag's iconic curve was interpreted as a storm flap on outerwear; a masterful take on melding accessories and ready-to-wear pieces.
While the collaboration with Arsham is a meta take on the idea of travel, the collaboration with Rimowa was one that was more in line with the literal idea of travel. The capsule collection featured a backpack, clutch, Champagne carrier, hand case, and a suitcase made of Rimowa’s signature aluminium, and featured the Dior Oblique motif. Notice that among all the items, only one was an actual suitcase that you could check in. Unlike the rest of Rimowa's other collaborations, the focus of Jones' renditions was on small travel essentials. That means that your favourite luggage no longer sits at the hotel, but is truly able to travel with you.
Now it seemed like Kim Jones has done some serious heavy lifting for his latest collection, one that is as multi-faceted and layered as they come. But the genius of Jones is in his ability to retain the voice of each collaborator while still allowing his personal work to speak. The spring/summer 2020 collection was harmonious and uncluttered. It seems like there is no one better to write the future history of the house of Dior.
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