British designer Kim Jones turns brand’s ode to Japanese culture into a ‘hypermodern reality’
Fashion fever hit Tokyo this week as Kate Moss and David Beckham were among the celebrities to sit front row at Dior’s first ever menswear show in the Japanese capital.
The British designer Kim Jones is the person to thank for the brand’s foray outside Paris. Since his appointment as artistic director in March, he has been eager to connect the brand’s aesthetic to that of its eponymous founder, and Tokyo is a place where they find common ground.
“I love Japan, I’ve been here more than 100 times,” Jones said backstage. Christian Diorused to visit the country in the 1950s and used pattern cutters at the famous Daimaru department store as early as 1953. “This is all about appreciating the culture of Japan and respecting it ,” Jones said.
Formerly the creative director at Louis Vuitton, Jones is determined to keep the brand’s founder at the heart of this first-ever pre-autumn/winter collection. So he brought leopard and cherry-blossom prints back from the archive, as well as houndstooth – “which was one of Mr Dior’s favourite fabrics”.
Traditional techniques mixed with advanced technologies: metallic-printed calfskin was laser-etched on to bomber jackets, while blazers were treated with metallisation.
Other highlights that might prove popular were the compact pockets designed to strap on to existing bags and the metallic baseball caps created by the milliner Stephen Jones.
It was about updating Dior’s romantic ode into a “hypermodern reality of Japanese culture today”, read the show notes. To reinforce the point, Jones commissioned the contemporary artist Hajime Sorayama to create a 12ft sculptural centrepiece of a female figure made from silver Mylar for the catwalk.