Fashion designer Kim Jones takes Dior to dreamy wasteland where past, future coexist

Models presenting creations by designers Kim Jones as part of his Spring/Summer 2020 collection show for Dior Homme, in Paris on June 21, 2019.
Models presenting creations by designers Kim Jones as part of his Spring/Summer 2020 collection show for Dior Homme, in Paris on June 21, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (REUTERS) - English fashion designer Kim Jones played with time on Friday (June 21) in his simultaneously classic and dystopian collaboration with Daniel Arsham, filling Christian Dior's latest menswear collection with tonal, feminine-inspired pieces with a modern edge.

The house's Summer 2020 collection linked Dior's history as the industry's salient interpreter of femininity with the French house's daring, gender-bending future by way of draped sashes and floral pins off-set with ultra-modern, sometimes tattered accessories and textures.

Amid a pink and white set, the models became explorers in a eerie, beautiful wasteland.

They trekked through a sea of gradient pink sand around colossal, plaster letters spelling out Dior. Each letter had a ruined aspect about it, as if the sand and wind had worn it down for millennia.

Singer Lily Allen, model Kate Moss, her daughter Lila and Louis Vuitton menswear creative director Virgil Abloh figured among the stars present for the exploration of Dior through the ages.

The idea of relics took centre-stage, a favourite subject for collaborator and category-defying artist Arsham.

Known for conceptually-driven sculptures, Arsham has collaborated with Dior before, working on window installations in some of their biggest stores and stylised fitting rooms in the Los Angeles Dior Homme store for then creative director Hedi Slimane.

Beyond the sculptural element of the set and the pink-sand runway, the collection, a highlight of Paris's fashion week, too, evoked sculptural origins while simultaneously embracing long, summery, slim-cut menswear.

The models donned pieces as diverse as multi-piece suits, mesh tops, re-interpreted trenches, jumpsuits in toile and adventure-ready looks for a dystopian traveller featuring fabric draped around their necks and faces, caps and wide glasses.

The intricately designed and intellectually driven show reaffirmed parent group LVMH's effort to invest more in men's fashion on and off the runway.

Studded with jewellery and bags, the show confirms Dior's push for more accessories in menswear - items that bring in the most money for house.

Jone's collection featured Dior's first-ever collaboration with luxury luggage brand Rimowa, giving the collection futuristic, metal handbags, clutches and backpacks.

More traditionally cut suits were accented with feminine handbags or saddle bags. The clean lines and supple cuts were punctuated by threadbare, frayed hats and other accessories.

After the show's finale, Jones appeared on stage for no more than five seconds.

The enigmatic designer came on board as creative director in March last year, striking the fashion world off-the-bat with a first collection that attracted the most celebrity-heavy front row in the brand's history.

Before, as head of Louis Vuitton men, he brought streetwear to the world of high fashion and then reinvigorated the art of tailoring for a more modern audience.