Collaborations have been rife for the spring/summer 2022 menswear season. There were the most recently unveiled (and inevitable) collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Nike, JW Anderson with Persol, Burberry and musicians Shpongle, as well as a continued partnership between adidas and Wales Bonner. At Dior Men, artistic director Kim Jones continued his constant exploration of artistic dialogues with rapper and style icon Travis Scott.
After season after season of collaborating with artists, fellow fashion designers, streetwear brands, and more, Scott's inclusion in the Dior Men spring/summer 2022 collection marked the first that the fashion house has ever collaborated with a musician for an entire collection. That in itself is historic. And no doubt a huge progression for both Dior and Scott.
Scott is, by all accounts, a fashion darling—luxury fashion houses love him. It was only about a week ago that he sported a custom Bottega Veneta look. Dior Men and Scott's partnership began even before Cactus Jack Dior (what the collection has officially been referred to as). He was last involved with Jones's landmark collaboration with Nike that was part of the fall 2020 collection. This time, he's not just the face of the collaboration but also had creative input. And Cactus Jack Dior is no mere collaboration for collaboration's sake.
Texas and Western motifs played heavily in the collection. Christian Dior himself had a personal connection to the American state, having made it one of his first stops in 1947 when he first journeyed to the country. Scott was born in Houston, Texas with his own imprint named 'Cactus Jack' as a reference to his roots. It pretty much seems like a match made in heaven, and one that was bound to happen.
Scott has said once that his creation of Cactus Jack was more to help out new artists rather than for his own financial gain. In line with that endeavour, a series of hand-painted shirts by American artist George Condo were made specifically for the runway and will then be auctioned off. Proceeds from that will be 'used to support future generations of creative talent through scholarships', as stated in the collection's notes.
Look and feel: It was undoubtedly Western-meets-elevated streetwear-meets-couture. The overarching Western theme was prevalent through the use of cowboy-esque tropes such as trousers lined with metallic adornments right along the outseam and oversized poncho shirts, with an overall sun-washed palette. There was also the inclusion of snakeskin motifs that cleverly spelled out 'CD' if you squint.
Jones's mastery at evolving the tailoring language of Dior Men was in full effect once again. The Tailleur Oblique, for example, was crafted to sit higher on the body and worn with upturned lapels for a heightened sense of formality to contrast with the collection's sportswear elements. The trousers were also designed tighter around the hip before fluidly flaring out.
Those who have been collecting the constantly remixed Dior logos that have been Jones's leitmotif since joining the fashion house, would be thrilled to know that there were more than one to add to their collections. First up was the Dior Oblique pattern that's been reworked to spell out 'Jack', followed by an amalgamation of 'Dior' and 'CJ' that appeared on jumpers and accessories. There were also scribblings of 'Dior' that were hand-drawn by Scott himself, added onto T-shirts and outerwear.
Favourite looks: Look 3 was unmistakably Scott. A knit vest emblazoned with the 'Jack Oblique' motif all over and worn with the collection's tailored flared trousers as well as a high jewellery cactus necklace crafted with precious stones—an elevated rapper swag done the Dior way. We also loved the dusty pink ensembles in the collection, specifically look 12 with its couture-embellished trousers. And because highlighter hues are proving to be a key trend for spring/summer 2022, we're going with look 25 for a more practical option in the form of a coat that's grounded so beautifully with café-coloured trousers.
For something a bit more streetwear-leaning but still elegantly put together, look 46's combination of a Tailleur Oblique jacket in pale blue and wide-cut bermudas, finished with pattern socks and white sneakers, would make for a stunning addition to any collection for the season. It's simple, classic, and perennially stylish.
Favourite accessories: We need to talk about the hybrid hats (looks 1, 12 and 47). While they looked like bucket hats from the front—or 'bob' hats in French terms—they're actually connected to the second-half of a baseball cap. It's just one of the many examples of splicing and combining two elements in the Cactus Jack Dior collection.
If we had to choose just one bag from the collection that we've got our eyes on, it would be the double Saddle bag. The iconic bag has been re-envisioned as, well, actual saddles comprising of two Saddle bags joined together with a stirrup handle. It's so brilliant that we're still reeling from the realisation of what it actually was.