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Dior’s Fall/Winter runway show touched on themes of renewal and rebirth in the spirit of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. Creative director, Kim Jones brought in Robert Pattinson and Gwendoline Christie to recite T.S. Eliot’s melancholic poem written in the aftermath of World War I. A piece of English Literature pivotal to British modernist poetry, the poem merges the legend of the Holy Grail and the Fisher King with snippets of contemporary British society.

As the river Thames assimilates into the Seine so does the ancient flow of history, the eddies and flows of water, steady, mutable and regenerating, reflect those of fashion, including Dior’s Winter collection where flux, movement and ease are central themes of a complex collection honouring the past, present and future of the French couture house. Jones expressed that he wished to explore “the regeneration of the House after the death of Mr. Dior, and it’s rejuvenation with Yves Saint Laurent – his chosen heir.”

Drawing a parallel in literature, through water imagery and themes in The Waste Land, Jones’ winter offering mainly draws upon Yves Saint Laurent’s Spring/Summer 1958 debut collection. Bridging traditional British tailoring, haute couture and casual wear, silhouettes are softened, curved and presented in an array of soft tones. Models walked past massive screens screening the faces of Pattison and Christie filmed by Baillie Walsh. There were pale, neutral colours, embroidered jackets and sweaters, seafarer’s Aran knits, twills, yellow oilskin raincoats, and sou’westers. Jones also incorporated animal prints, wide cuts and chiffon scarves as a tribute to Saint Laurent.

Giving us a glimpse into the future of the house, Jones assimilates Dior’s women’s silhouettes into his menswear collections incorporating a range of skirts and shorts so wide that they mimic the former. Minimal and utilitarian silhouettes extended the reach of the house’s savoir-faire to contemporary levels, echoing Saint Laurent’s quest for modern simplification. As such, all of Jones’ offerings can be metamorphosed by the wearer to achieve the desired degree of excess and practicality.

Nur Rezai-Mah

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