Since his appointment in March 2018, Kim Jones has tapped a number of artists to work in collaboration with Dior. These collaborations help infuse Jones’ luxurious work and eye for design with a detailed artistic touch. With Scottish painter Peter Doig being the latest to work with the French fashion house, the Fall Winter 2021 show was a regal and glamorous rendition of military formalwear.
Models walked through a carpeted room that was inspired by Doig’s 1989/90 piece ‘Milky Way’, created during his Master’s degree studies at the Chelsea School of Art. The runway also featured massive 1950’s, Klangfilm speakers. The electronic beat by Jones’ longtime friend and collaborator Honey Dijon only added to the high-octane presentation.
The first look shown was a bedazzled gold coat made by the ‘Vermont Paris Embroidery Maison’. The bright outerwear perfectly complemented the starry night sky design of the runway. On the opening look, Dior stated that “This opener set the tone for a colourful collection that draws inspiration from ceremonial costume.”
Kim Jones’ frequent collaborations with artists at Dior have always been a hit, from Daniel Arsham to Amoako Boafo, and now Peter Doig. Doig’s influence was everywhere in this show from the set design to the camouflaged printed clothing and the cashmere jumpers featuring his iconic swirled style of painting. His 2018 creation entitled ‘Two Trees’ was directly referenced in the show, as Dior featured the outfits found in the artwork, including a bright multicoloured yellow jumper. Doig’s work is some of the best seen from a Dior collaborator and his ability to influence the collection to such an extent showcases the faith that Jones has put into his collaborations.
Alongside Doig’s artwork, much of the collection drew influence from military heritage, specifically pieces worn for ceremonies. Dior featured collared military jackets in an array of colours and matched them with knee-length overcoats, studded berets, tapered trousers and calf-high leather rubber boots. Jones gave a more subdued look to this style, which is often remembered as the Sergeant Pepper suits, from the seminal Beatles album. Other looks had a more louche feeling, combining the collared jackets with side-stripe flared trousers, snow boots and what appeared to be a new Dior sneaker.
Speaking of berets, headwear designed by the legendary Stephen Jones, made up a big part of this show, as it did for yesterday’s Louis Vuitton collection. Dior included crocheted bonnets, embroidered bowler hats as well as what appeared to be a leather head guard. Perhaps it’s due to hairdressers being closed, but hats are becoming more apparent and appealing in 2021.
Dior, never one to be bested in the great “it-bag” debate, showed off a Dior Men saddle bag in a Peter Doig inspired motif, featuring the Mathew Williams-designed buckle. The French luxury house also showed off a military-inspired version of the saddle bag in embroidered gold, as well as a white crocodile leather handbag.
Dior jewellery designer Yoon Ahn designed a series of metallic jewellery for this assembly. The Japanese designer drew on the ceremonial inspired collection to create brooches, rings, necklaces and earrings, all of which feature a silver lion, a symbol of military might.
This collection flawlessly captured the tailoring and charm which are embedded in Dior’s codes and felt like yet another big success for Kim Jones who is no doubt one of the industry’s leading designers. Alongside his work at Dior, his appointment as Karl Lagerfeld’s successor, becoming Fendi’s Artistic Director of haute couture, ready-to-wear and fur collections for women is further evidence of his wide-reaching talent and skills. We also didn’t mind Jones’ newly dyed-blond look.