By Eric RANDOLPH
Dior put on an austere sci-fi spectacle at Paris Fashion Week on Friday that wowed the audience with models rising unexpectedly out of hidden trapdoors.
Despite the impressive gimmick, Dior’s creative director Kim Jones told AFP the stark, metallic set design was aimed at putting the focus on the outfits — not always the case in the publicity-hungry world of high fashion.
“The thing about what I do is that they are always real clothes. I really think about what the customer wants,” Jones told AFP at Dior’s showroom next to the Arc de Triomphe.
Dior has increasingly been the yin to the yang of its poppier LVMH stablemate Louis Vuitton.
The contrast was again striking after the debut earlier this week of Pharrell Williams as Louis Vuitton designer, which turned the historic Pont Neuf into an open-air club, and was more concert than catwalk.
Jones previously ran menswear at Louis Vuitton himself and helped pioneer the blend of luxury and streetwear that has driven huge growth at the brand.
But now at Dior, he focuses on the house’s fabled past, and his new collection drew heavily on its famous “cannage” crosshatch pattern along with leopard prints from the days when Yves Saint Laurent was creative director in the late 1950s.
“I wanted to go back to what Dior was, the New Look but seen via the New Wave with a punky edge to it, turning the leopard print from Saint Laurent into something that could be a revolutionary’s vest or something,” said Jones.
He says the back catalogue is an endless source of inspiration.
“You can look at a couple of couture pieces and pull out enough for a whole season. That’s the magic of it. It was actually very masculine the fabrics that (Dior) used. The way the patterns were done was very interesting,” he said.
– ‘A bit of shopping’ –
The interview was briefly interrupted by the appearance of Hollywood star Demi Moore, a close friend whom he referred to as “my wife”, along with her tiny chihuahua Pilaf in a pouch on her front — designed, naturally, by Jones.
Moore famously walked the runway in 2021 for Fendi, where Jones has another job as womenswear and couture director.
Jones, 49, said he was also slightly distracted by a redesign at his London home — printouts showed works by Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud on his walls, along with a pile of first editions by Virginia Woolf and her handbag, evidence of his long-standing obsession with the Bloomsbury Group.
He was also checking out an Old Masters auction at Christie’s: “Just doing a bit of shopping,” he quipped. — Agence France-Presse