Urban experience and contemporary savoir-faire, these are the cornerstones of Christian Dior’s 2020 Pre-Fall menswear collection, presented by Kim Jones, Artistic Director of Dior’s men collections, and Stephen Jones, Dior’s milliner, in collaboration with Shawn Stussy, american artist and designer responsible for most of the contemporary urban identity of this collection.
As is customary in high-fashion presentations, the set in which the debut of Dior’s Pre-Fall 202 collection took place complements and exacerbates the whole collection. Amidst Miami, the set is an additional stellar piece of the show as a whole, shaped in the liking of a breaking wave and lined up floor to ceiling with a myriad of interpretations of the Dior logo, styled to fit the multitude of cityscapes that inspired Shawn Stussy for many of the collection’s pieces. Surf, counterculture, beach and hip-hop are the mainstay for Dior this season.
For the collection itself, fluid jackets, long overcoats reminiscent of the Bar suit, french berets and bob hats not unlike those worn by sailors take the main stage. In combination with the innovative and disruptive fabric choices ranging from floral motifs and python patterns to checkers, stripes and tropical wools create an intertwining relation between classic models and modern styles.
Forty-nine distinct silhouettes compose the whole collection. The main concept surrounding all of them is the idea of savoir-faire, the know-how behind the embroidery and stitching techniques in each piece. Pullover sweaters riddled with different iterations of graffiti-style Dior logos crocheted by hand, denim shirts in a chain print with Japanese Kasuri handicraft inspirations, and a tulle shirt entirely embroidered with beads which required over 2, 600 hours of handwork are all main features of the outfits presented. According to the creative vision of Kim Jones, these pieces exemplify the true value of knowing how to pull off the techniques required to put these articles together.
Shawn Stussy collaborated with Dior to create a new psychedelic surf version of the Dior signature, all the repeating patterns featured in many of the pieces are hand knit to ultra-precise extents. These motifs are used with jersey shorts and transparent technical nylon shirts, revisiting classic codes and sportswear influences. Alas, the vintage print characteristic to the Dior Oblique finds its renaissance in the silhouettes and subtle shades crafted for this collection. Buttons covered in fabric, refined lining under the turned cuffs and long cuts punctuate the collection’s long overcoats and jackets to inject new life into classic pieces.
Some key pieces decorate the outfits to perfection. First off, hats inspired by those of Shawn Stussy are lined with bouquets of lily-of-the-valley arrays, Christian Dior’s lucky charm, and tiare flower typical to Miami. The hats are timing with the Dior signature to the point of abstraction by Stussy, and colors evoking the sunset and the peach tones of the Florida skyline.
The Queen Bee associated with the House of Dior makes a comeback with this interpretation by Shawn Stussy, artist and designer who now gives it gothic and punk undertones, skull and bones embody the spirit of Monsieur Dior’s belief that his Ateliers are as effervescent as a hive. Worn in a leather patch it punctuates the saddlebags as a keychain and as a motif in the B23 sneakers, among other accessories in the collection.
Beaded articles are the main example of the savoir-faire presented as the leitmotif of the season. Sneakers, saddlebags and other accessories are embroidered by hand with over 10 000 individual pearls, with up to 160 hours of hand work in each piece. These goods reflect the art of detail embraced by the House of Dior haute couture tradition.
Two articles shine above all others. The Saddle bag is reinvented in this iteration with metal on the outside and interiors entirely made of leather. Aluminum plaques cut in advance and then assembled to create the husk of the bag. Dipped in “the colour of life” of Dior, red, a plexiglass detail reveals the Dior Oblique motif. The Dior signature intervened by Stussy crowns the bag, making it a true work of art further replicated in subtle enamel keychains.
The other jewel in the collection is an unprecedented collaboration between Dior and the Jordan Brand. They created a limited edition Air Jordan 1 sneaker, marking the first joint piece between the sports and streetwear brand with a haute couture house.
All in all, Dior’s Fall 2020 collection is a top of the notch display of the House’s main values and Kim Jones’ creative intent. High-fashion, precise details, innovation, elegance and joyfulness are all present in this season for Dior’s menswear. In an unlikely turn of events, the haute couture House of Dior found itself elevated by the influence of counterculture, hip-hop, surf, punk and urban identities brought by Shawn Stussy, creating an interesting and refreshing season in the turn of the decade, auguring a fresh new and inspiring start for the Christian Dior House.