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Summer 2020 Men’s Show

June 21, 2019 - Paris - 6:00PM (GMT+2)

The past of the future, now becoming then. The notion of the relic – the idea of constant evolution, investigation and creation of history – sits behind every house of haute couture. These houses are a living, breathing connection to a storied past, to another era – a testament to the power and currency of memory. For Summer 2020, Kim Jones, the Artistic Director of Dior menswear collections, explores this notion, collaborating with multidisciplinary American artist Daniel Arsham, whose work examines the archeology of the present. The result is a testament to Dior’s legacy – one that is continually being created.

Architecture has always been integral to Christian Dior’s work: his haute couture was theatrical and structured – molded as if soft sculptures in themselves. For this menswear collection, the shapes are supple, fluid and featherlight, but combined with techniques borrowed from sculpture. Leather garments have details that are bonded, then sliced like a frieze. The tone-on-tone Dior Oblique monogram and shading express the art of bas-relief. A color palette of sun-bleached neutrals and intense color recalls a monumental landscape.

A superstitious importance given to totems, the notion of luck and the magical properties ascribed to physical objects were part of Christian Dior’s ideological make-up. Elements of Dior – both hallmarks of the House, and incidental pieces that express its physical actuality – here become emblematic relics. Items drawn from Monsieur Dior’s studio – his clock, his telephone – have been cast by Daniel Arsham, reminiscent of the artist’s Future Relics series.

In its first-ever collaboration with the luxury luggage brand RIMOWA, Dior presents a unique capsule collection, including a backpack, champagne case, hand case, clutch and luggage, characterized by the German house’s iconic aluminum grooves. Forged with craftsmanship and expertise, this special edition Dior and RIMOWA collection features the Dior Oblique motif and uses an innovative combination of anodizing processes, whereby vibrant pigments are inscribed directly into the product’s aluminum skin. A celebration of the spirit of the aluminum as the building block of the collection.

 

For Summer 2020, Kim Jones’s creations are founded on the history of Dior, the excellence of its savoir-faire. But the collection also reinterprets modern history, a new heritage. The Dior newspaper print, introduced as part of the spring-summer 2000 haute-couture show, is redrafted, once again in collaboration with Daniel Arsham. The collection also telescopes to now, underscoring styles Kim Jones has introduced to the house of Dior: a selection of neo-classics. The Tailleur Oblique of Kim Jones’s debut is reiterated, its details adapted to outerwear. The reinvention of the Dior Saddle bag continues, its curves adapted as storm flaps on coats; and raped volant sashes introduced for Winter 2019-2020 evolve. Today, they have a shaded touch – dragging through the sand of the show décor, it appears as if they are already marked by the passage of a different measure of time. Others outline the lapels of tailored jackets, like cast shadows.

The notion of the hand is the essence of couture. Translating it to menswear continues: Parisian ateliers create clouds of pleated georgette, enveloping the figure like pigment in water while, expressing the universality of craft, toile de Jouy patterns are hand-painted by kimono craftsmen from Kyoto, Japan. Both methods recall another era.
In this collection, the hand of the House is joined by those of the artist Daniel Arsham and Kim Jones, interacting in a dynamic and constant creative exchange. Pieces have been worked by both the Dior menswear Atelier and Arsham, who also examined the Dior archives to project into an imagined future, creating them as precious relics of a distant eon. New pieces have been prematurely aged, eroded and crumbled from jewelry designs by Yoon Ahn. Transparent shoes resemble casts in themselves, with socks visible inside. Graphics from Dior’s history become tablets in plaster, broken and altered by Arsham, reworked in silicone as appliqué badges applied across accessories.

Continuing in a new tradition, established under Kim Jones, of artists reinterpreting the Dior men’s Saddle bag, Arsham casts its form as an artifact: the resulting bags will be 3D printed, in limited edition. The Dior logo is transposed, too: it becomes a facade, letters raised, with cracks and fissures worked into the surface of the cloth, worn by models walking through a desert scene filled with other monumental monoliths to Dior.

An interplay between past, present and future, the value of the past, looking ahead from the present – this collection explores anticipation and the elasticity of time, simultaneously looking back and forward.
History is not immutable: it is dynamic, changing and alive. This collection is a tribute to Dior, the one that’s familiar and the one still taking form. 

Interview with Peter Philips

Collaboration with Daniel Arsham

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Summer 2020 Men’s Show

21 June 2019 - Paris - 18H00 (GMT+02)

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