The past, present and future magically mingle in front of the Great Pyramid of Giza, in Cairo, Egypt, one autumn evening. As the last light disappeared behind the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the World, 75 silhouettes appear as they walk up the slope set up especially for the occasion – their pale, dragging chiffon scarves and asymmetrical capes whipped by the desert wind.
75 silhouettes to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the house of Dior that Kim Jones, the creative director of the Dior Men‘s line, takes to the eternal land of the pharaohs for his Pre-Fall 2023 collection.
“My interest in ancient Egypt is about the stars and the sky. It’s that fascination with the ancient world and the parallels with what we look at today, what we inherited from them and what we are still learning from the past. It links to Christian Dior in that sense and by way of his fascination with symbols and superstitions that recur throughout his life and work, one of which is the star. In both the collection and the show, there is an idea of “guided by the stars” and what that can entail in many ways. It’s about how the past shapes the future or an idea of the future from the past,” said Kim Jones.
But in this eternal land of the pharaohs, no references to pharaohs or archaeology – unlike Olivier Rousteing’s Balmain Resort 2023 collection – Jones preferred to direct his inspirations to the stars and astrology, in reference to the house founder’s passion for astrology. “Really, I was looking at two things. The ancient Egyptians were obsessed by astronomy, and Monsieur Dior was obsessed by stars and astrology. And when I go into the desert, I look at the sky,” Jones explained.
From there, Jones incorporated nods to Frank Herbert’s novel “Dune” into his silhouettes, including the aborted project to adapt it to the screen by cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky in the mid-1970s. So the silhouettes play a perfect balance between comfort and opulence, with removable knee-length or mid-calf panels paired with loose-fitting pants in neutral tones; with gauzy jackets with protective hoods and billowy trapeze coats; with crin-like wool demi-kilts inspired by the bias-pleated skirt of a Dior archival dress from the Fifties aptly called “Good Fortune”; or with desert boots with 3D-printed toe guards, created in collaboration with NASA.
And for the must-have accessories, Jones revisited the codes of cannage and the famous CD Diamond pattern in a mix of innovative processes and materials, with neoprene panels or injecting anodized metal into the finishes.
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