Art fair jet-set glamor from Dior at a Miami museum
today Dec 4, 2019
Dior menswear designer Kim Jones took his latest menswear collection to America this week with a high-powered show of pre-fall 2020 menswear staged in Miami’s latest new happening neighborhood.
After three seasons working with noted contemporary artists, Jones took a deft approach, linking up with Shawn Stussy, the founder of streetwear label Stussy.
Semi-retired - he sold out of Stussy two decades ago - Shawn gave Jones six pieces of black and white graphic art which were the dorsal spine of this show.
Jones’ opening looks features superb cashmere tops in the seamless psychedelic Stussy prints; dashing silk sports shirts in “tutti frutti” art deco colors; pony skin jerkins and - aptly - python dusters and pants. Couture quality quite often, like the beautiful beaded shirts that took the famed Dior atelier 260 hours to complete. Even the best-selling men’s saddlebag and a series of sailor’s berets from milliner Stephen Jones got the beaded touch.
The guests packed into an enormous barrel-shaped auditorium; David Beckham in a shiny crème-caramel satin double-breasted suit; Kate Moss; Silvia Fendi; Peter Dundas; Maluma; Gwendoline Christie; Ricky Martin in playboy white suit; Giles Deacon; Kim and Kourtney Kardashian; Lily Allen; Pusha T; David Harbour; Hero Fiennes-Tiffin; Xavier Dolan; Bella Hadid; Winnie Harlow and Stussy, of course.
Jones also debuted his latest link-up; much of the cast marched in bold new Air Jordan high-tops, combining elements of the Dior oblique print, the classic Swoosh and the house’s signature dove gray.
And he looked back to Yves Saint Laurent’s 1960 collection for Dior when he did Miami nights – riffing on glamorous art deco – and the sherbet colors of that period.
“Coming here we had to be inspired by the glamorous '60s, when people travelled with jet-set style glamor and would go to a Dior boutique and come to Miami and see all the stars,” said Jones.
Hence the heart of this collection was gutsy tailoring - precision-cut blazers and suits in creamy cashmere finished with the covered button that Monsieur first used in the bar jacket. Jones also reined in his signature wrap jacket with visible inner strap, and the result was some flawless cutting.
“When we knew we were coming to Miami during the art fair, I knew I wanted to work with an artist, but not a traditional artist – and, so, Shawn Stussy. Though like all the artists I worked with he had the same considered self-assured hand and line that I like,” explained Jones.
Giving some idea of the power of the Dior name, the houses show effectively inaugurated Miami’s most important new art space, the private Rubell Museum.
Some 700 guests gathered in a custom-made show space outside the museum for the catwalk event, before being granted a private tour of the Rubell Museum, certainly the most important new art space to open in the United States in several years. A vast holding of 7,200 works by some 1,000 artists, it is one of the leading collections of contemporary art in the US today.
Mera and Don Rubell began collecting after their marriage in the '60s, and rapidly gained a reputation for their unerring eye, spotting promising unknown artists very early – buying Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons in the late '70s; and Keith Haring and Richard Prince in the early 1980s.
Back in 1993, they opened up their first gallery in a former Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) warehouse in the then-seedy neighborhood of Wynwood. After leading the transformation of the area into a trendy location of smart bars and galleries, they sold the building and acquired a giant space in nearby Allapattah, some 100,000 square-feet in six industrial buildings. Expect the gentrification to begin rapidly, led by Dior tonight.
Given all the exotic skin in the show, the location was ideal. Allapattah is the local Indian word for alligator.
Guests could admire a truly unique art collection – the golden display of faux architectural ruins by John Miller; Richard Prince cowboy photography and current art house fave Oscar Murillo.
It’s not the only major opening in Allapattah; since real estate billionaire Jorge M Pérez has opened the new El Espacio 23, which even has onsite apartments for artists and curator residencies.
Post show, Orville Peck played a hipster country and western set for a party audience of 2,000. Before a firework display broke out over the show space, covered in the Stussy-Dior print that recalled the cover of Cream’s classic album, Disraeli Gears. This was not a low-cost event; sources say that Dior block-booked over 100 rooms in glam Miami Beach hotel The Edition, where a room for the night during the fair starts at $1,300.
Dior has had a long tradition of working in tandem with fine artists. Before he became a couturier, Monsieur Dior was a gallery owner who showed works by Picasso, Dali and Magritte. Few of his successors have been as artistically obsessed as Jones, whose debut show for the house featured a giant floral stature of a cartoon character by Kaws; and whose most recent show this past June in Paris had a set designed by artist Daniel Arsham.
Since he was in Miami, Jones was unable to attend the British Fashion Council Awards where he was named Menswear Designer of the Year. Donatella presented the prize to the absent Brit.
This bold fashion statement was the latest proof, if more were needed, that Jones fully merits the acclaim. These days at Dior, he is a designer fully in the zone; and inventively in synch with the whole Dior DNA.
“Why are we in Miami? Because the collection works perfectly here, and because for the next seven days everyone in the creative community is in Miami. It’s pretty simple,” smiled Dior CEO Pietro Beccari.
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