Painterly strokes meet savoir-faire
Dandy dressing staged quite a comeback at Dior Men’s seminal Fall 2020 offering when the label’s artistic director Kim Jones closed his show with a silver-metal feather embroidered coat. Shining bright like a constellation of stars, the ensemble was inspired by a piece in the Christian Dior haute couture archive. It was a moment of reckoning in sartorial history as Mr Jones took a pell-mell plunge into the hallowed archives of the ‘50s haute couture and recontexualised the silhouettes and embroidery techniques to scale up the gravitas of his menswear. Softening the silhouettes and lending them a more laid-back edge, Kim has successfully churned out numerous collectibles- from the tapestry B 23 high tops to the camp shirts and matching shorts echoing the distinctive Oblique pattern insignia.
Also, he’s effortlessly managed to blur the boundaries between fashion and art with each outing. Since his arrival in the French Maison, it’s been a flurry of interesting artistic collaborations. Not long ago, he collaborated with Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo and Shawn Stussy, the streetwear OG and American artist Kenny Scharf.
For the Fall Winter 21-22 offering, he joined hands with Scottish painter Peter Doig reimagining his artworks with the potent prowess of embellishments, jacquards and prints. The show opened with a statement frock coat layered over a court twin set and offset with a beret followed by a chic trench. An array of cozy knits, turtlenecks, peacoats made their presence felt - some offset by knitted beanies and others by the reworked saddle bag, which was showcased in a striking printed avatar. The opening palette of rust, mahogany, plum, wine and black made way for striking orange, pop yellow and soothing ombre.
While there was no paucity of refined dandy touches, comfort fit multi-pocketed trousers, athleisure parkas and sneakers kept the sporty charm alive. A panoply of bowler hats brought to life by milliner Stephen Jones too featured illustrations handmade by Peter.
It’s hard to define this modern-day Dior dandy - as he comes across as multi-layered - not just in terms of clothing, but in his approach to life in general - he could be a bohemian poet with a penchant for the 18th century court dressing or a rebel nomad, who’s rooted to the past yet impossibly of the moment.
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