Dior Men in Tokyo: Modernist tailoring before a giant warrior woman
Designer Kim Jones took to the runway in Tokyo on Friday evening, the first time that a catwalk for a pre-collection for the menswear line has ever been staged.
Jones unveiled his Dior Men Pre-Fall 2019 in a magnificent set that starred a 12-meter-high robot warrior lady sculpture by Hajime Sorayama, replete with visor and futurist skull, and surrounded by magnified cherry blossoms.
The centerpiece a dramatic contrast to Jones’ Dior debut in June, when he placed a massive pink and black hybrid puppy dog by artist Brian Donnelly, aka Kaws, as his linchpin.
In Tokyo, around 1,000 fans, influencers, editors and stars crowded into the venue, the Telecom Center, with his pals Kate Moss, David Beckham, ASAP Rocky, Bella Hadid, Jordan Barrett and Ezra Miller sitting front-row.
Presented in industrial amphitheater, Jones kicked off the action with a monochromatic looks, a darkened version of Monsieur Dior’s signature pale gray.
He cut houndstooth trench-coats and snazzy tuxedos gently wrapped around the torso; shifting the button line 10 centimeters to left in some highly accomplished tailoring. Monsieur Dior would have been proud.
He paired them with silk cherry blossom print roll-necks and shirts; though anchored most of the tailoring with sturdy boots. Like the ones he wore when her took his bow.
Jones also unleashed a great new techy, silver metallic version of the Dior logo with a mini steering wheel O, using it in the opening passage, a taut après-ski jersey worn with flat-front pants and silver boots. And sent out a sci-fi typeface triangular CD logo. Jones' fertile mind playing with Dior’s DNA with skill.
Kim reprised his much-admired contrasting sleeve suits from his June debut, with new double-breasted looks in shiny fine wool. For clubbing he whipped up clean knits covered by bold motifs reading "Dior." Though he also stuck with the, by now, classic multi-Dior print for bomber jackets, backpacks and an enlarged manly Dior saddle bag.
Though when one adds in the mini metallic helmets and mountaineers harnesses the mood was rather martial. The attitude was posh, with a soupçon of bovver, driven on by the churning, frayed feedback on an electronica soundtrack that included John Hopkins.
While in Tokyo, Jones also launched a capsule collection inside a two-week pop up within department store Isetan, in central Shinjuku, debuting his first men’s collection for the house. The capsule collection for spring 2019 also went on sale inside Dior’s flagship in Ginza, the first step in its global roll-out that kicks into action on Saturday.
“Japan is a magical country that I know quite well and that I love particularly for its incredible and unique culture, history, and nature, which have always been very fascinating and a great source of inspiration to me,” said Jones pre-show.
A gritty pre-show teaser video featured a high-speed dash around Tokyo’s inner-city freeways, which dip and twist, Bladerunner-style, around the skyscrapers of the Japanese capital. It foretold the presence of his Brit Pack, even if Jones does not play any part in the recent London drive to ban fur from the runway.
Jones always used oodles of fur at his previous job, as menswear designer of Louis Vuitton. And this Japan show included exotic surgeon’s shirts, blousons and a rubber baron’s great coat both in green and anthracite astrakhan. Green was even spotted on iridescent puffer jackets, and in multiple eco green laser bolts that bathed the enormous aluminum Amazonian statue, around which the British designer took his bow, trotting, smiling, very much in control. All told, a thoroughly assured collection with just the right dash of location specific fantasy and references meeting plenty of fresh tailoring propositions.
Sorayama’s statue even boasted a yellow garter. Which some will take as an insider tip that Jones is being seriously considered as a potential replacement for Maria Grazia Chiuri as the creative director of womenswear at Dior.
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