FOR KIM Jones, everything must relate back to Monsieur Dior. For the Dior autumn-winter 2024 collection, the artistic director looked at the relationship between the House’s founder and ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn through a masculine lens.
The conclusion was her partner Rudolf Nureyev, who he came to discover was a subject of his uncle’s photography career, Colin Jones.
The collection wasn’t just his usual offering, it was described as a series of collections that played with contrasts: ready-to-wear with haute couture, onstage compared with backstage, theatricality against reality. Together this duality led to the simple conclusion of public and private life – specifically that of Nureyev.
For the first time, Jones presented men’s couture in AW24. Drawing on the steeped history of the brand’s archive, he picked the tailoring from Saint Laurent’s era, exploring volumes, vents and necklines, with Monsieur Dior’s famous Bar; which Jones reimagined in his own oblique and that extends the double-breasted wrap with a fluid waist curve around the waist.
The collection unfolded to a dramatic soundtrack of Roméo et Juliette Suite No2 revisited by Max Richter, with the beginning showing an array of simple outfits that played with the idea of a dancer, with wool jumpsuits, ballet flats and hair bands all echoing the idea of backstage.
It then progressed to a more dramatic unveiling of evening-wear looks that reflected the sophisticated allure of costumes and Nureyev’s own passion for collecting antique textiles.
Directly translated into kimonos that were hand-made by craftsmen in Japan, over three months and made by 10 people, one very special silver uchikake kimono made from the hikihaku weaving was showcased as a poignant display of Dior’s commitment to savoir-faire.
As the collection came to a close, the models made their way around the circular stage standing in two rows. The music got louder and the stages began to move, first, moving the two circles in opposite directions and then with the middle slowly elevating the tiers. Roars of cheering and a humble walk around by Jones waving his gratitude finished the AW24 show.
It was one of those moments you rarely get, one where the clothes, so meticulously thought-through from the 1999 Stephen Jones velvet hats reimagined for today to Mary Jane sneakers for men, it felt like AW24 was a collection that epitomised the beauty of Jones’ design language with the culture of Dior. A disciplined exercise of modern fashion.