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A stage full of pink sand and four massive sculptures – one per letter – by American artist Daniel Arsham welcomed everyone at Dior Men’s latest show in Paris. For Spring/Summer 2020, Kim Jones delivered a collection where the grey suit, once the French house’s staple (and almost unique) piece for the men’s wardrobe, was reinvented following last season’s idea of mixing menswear and traditional haute couture. The result? A series of delicate, subtle and elegant suits, ranging from pearl to dark grey, repurposed for the modern man.

But, of course, Jones has presented more than ‘just’ grey suits. Although the stars of the show, they’ve shared the surreal pink stage with elegant long white coats, bicolor sheer shirts, toile de Jouy jumpsuits, and even a few splashes of pink on jackets, jumpers and a hat that covered almost entirely the model’s face – one of the most celebrated looks, actually, as we’ve seen on social media. The British fashion designer has dug deep into Monsieur Dior’s archive, but also into the French house’s. Hence some of the brand’s most iconic prints: of course, the monogram, especially visible on the socks – thanks to see-through transparent boots.

But also, fading from silver to blue on the champagne case, hand case, clutch and cabin suitcase that the French house has made in collaboration with luxury luggage brand Rimowa. Another characteristic print rescued from Dior’s archive is the toile de Jouy. This time, in light blue on a long jumpsuit, a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of shorts. And the most surprising but also exciting to see reemerge: the newspapers print popularized by John Galliano, who was at the helm of Dior for fifteen years. Now, Jones brings it back to light on shirts, shorts, and even the male version of the revamped saddle bag.

This focus on recovering some of the house’s heritage main elements – the grey suits, the haute couture details like the diagonal sash that Jones first presented in the Winter 2019 collection, the prints – are part of the new artistic collaboration of the season, with none other than Daniel Arsham. The American artist, who’s exhibited worldwide (he currently has a show at Moco Museum in Amsterdam), been featured in many publications, and worked on many projects both personal and commercial (and both as himself or together with his studio, Snarkitecture, which he co-founded with Alex Mustonen), has a body of work that reflects upon future archaeologies and imagines possible scenarios where the humans of the future (if there still are…) must understand our present era.

Arsham’s vision is quite influential, and it’s visible on several of the presentation’s details. He created two different sets: one for the entrance, which included reproductions of the clock and the telephone that Monsieur Dior had in his studio, and the four capital letters that stood majestically on the pink sand, which seemed like futurist ruins and even had mineral-looking details attached – resembling amethysts. But also, his ruin-like, dusty style translated into caps and the see-through boots. With his input, Jones has been able to create a new heritage for the future, a renovated vision of one of the most emblematic houses in fashion there is. And how great would it be to be in the future and unearth relics like these beautiful pieces?

Arnau Salvadó

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