Image: Alfredo Piola
The last time Kim Jones, artistic director at Dior Men, showed a collection in his hometown of London was in 2003, when he was the creative director at Alfred Dunhill. The Fall 2022 collection unveiled last week at the Olympia Exhibition Centre was a homecoming show for the designer and the assemblage of clothes was inspired by the Beat Generation. In particular, author Jack Kerouac and his watershed “On the Road”, had the most influence over the designs featured.
The show saw Jones sent out 49 looks and the runway was a reproduction of Kerouac’s manuscript of “On the Road” — typewritten in a continuous form that spanned over 80 metres long. The accompanying soundtrack had Robert Pattinson reciting lines from Kerouac’s works.
Image: Adrien Dirand
The Beat Generation was originally comprised of writers and poets. The initiators were Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Kerouac. They sought to challenge the status quo through publishing literary works that discussed topics such as sex, drugs, alcohol and the likes. And the youth of the day supported this new change as seen on the creation of new styles in defiance of social norms.
Across the Atlantic Ocean in Paris, the Monsieur Christian Dior had already enthralled the fashion world with his “New Look” collection. The unprecedented showcase paved the way for the House of Dior to be the purveyor of fashion. The rebel spirit of the Beat Generation crossed the Atlantic Ocean and made its way to the Left Bank of Paris, which also saw the appointment of Yves Saint Laurent as Maison’s new top designer.
Saint Laurent’s first haute couture show at Dior incorporated elements of the Beat Generation — the emergence of a youthquake. The youths of the day dictated the style choices and Jones saw this recurring once again in our contemporary time.
In a way, Jones is reinterpreting the story of “On the Road” for the modern day while keeping the essence of “free-form” as the cornerstone of his collection. He described the collection as “a suitcase that’s being unpacked every day in a different way”. The idea is to mix and match different outfits as one sees fit.
The Fall 2022 collection is an amalgamation of the Maison’s couture prowess with that of American sensibilities. This can be seen in the use of technical silks and recycled nylon that are combined with embroideries and its cutting. The opening look for the collection is a mix of high-low — the model wore a formal jacket with a graphic tee underneath and it is paired with outdoor boots and sporty drawstring shorts.
Look 1. Image: Dior Men
Sparkly beanies, intricate knitwear, and vintage-inspired logo jerseys worn with glitter collared shirts also dominated the runway. Chunky V-neck sweaters were paired with shorts call to mind a road trip one has during their college days. The signature Dior Saddle Bag saw a handful of new makeovers as well and we are sure that it will become the next hit item for the brand.
And we couldn’t forget the patterned socks, which beautifully complemented each outfit, but also made an impression when paired with the shoes and boots.
If the 80-metre long runway of Kerouac’s poem wasn’t a big enough nod to the author, there were little “easter eggs” of the author found throughout the range. A white dress shirt featured Kerouac’s portrait printed in black and white, a leather motorcycle jacket painted with an image adapted from the cover graphics of Kerouac’s posthumously published novel, “Visions of Cody”, which also featured the show’s invitation. Lastly, patches with “On The Road Again” tied the entire collection together.
All roads do lead to Paris as Dior had intended, as the Fall 2022 collection was a night to remember — from the clothes to the atmosphere.
For more fashion reads, click here.