Guided by the Stars

Dior Men’s stellar Fall 2023 collection is dramatically staged by the pyramids of Giza

Photography Henar Sherif and Adel Essam

In 1946, Christian Dior was at a professional crossroad. At 41 years old, he had just been offered the role of artistic director at the fashion house Philippe et Gaston by cotton magnate Marcel Boussac. Racked with doubt, he was unsure whether to instead ask to pursue the dream of opening his own house. A firm believer in premonitions, astrology and divination – he carried a string of lucky charms at all times – the evening before he was to make his decision, Dior strolled down Rue du Fabourg Saint-Honoré and almost tripped on a loose cast-iron star. “My destiny came to meet me,” he reflected, when discussing this seismic chance moment that convinced him to strike out on his own. The lucky star became a life-long talisman for the couturier, and has guided the eponymous French house ever since.

Over the weekend, as the sun set over the pyramids of Giza and celestial bodies came into focus, a dramatic runway strip showcased forms equally interstellar. Dior Men’s Fall 2023 coincided with the 75th anniversary of its debut collection, and while artistic director Kim Jones’ accomplished work is a continuum of its storied past, his gaze was fixed firmly on the future.

Photography Alessandro Garofalo

Its sci-fi slant – 3-D printed helmets, embroidery as futuristic armour, transparent jacquard – is balanced beautiful with traditional masculine and feminine tailoring codes; movement accentuated by the flowing silhouettes of capes, trapeze coats and demi-kilts that originate from the brand’s archive bias pleated skirt from the 50s – bonne fortune. Bags and shoes working with cannage and diamond codes sit alongside generous suit trousers, windbreakers, sequined tank tops and python-print jackets, couture seamlessly coalescing with technical outerwear detailing. A restrained grey and desert palette is occasionally disrupted by explosions of colour courtesy of engineered prints of stars and galaxies taken from NASA telescopes lightyears away.

Inevitably the striking desert setting, when paired with design flirting with futurism, calls to mind the many iterations and adaptations of Frank Herbert’s epic science-fiction text, Dune. Indeed, Jones cites the incredibly detailed and influential storyboards and proposed costume design by artists Moebius and H.R. Giger (who worked on avant-garde filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky’s unrealised attempt in the mid 70s) as a central inspiration.

Photography Mohsen Othman

But for all the high-frequency neoprene panelling, cocooning hoods and anodised metal finishes, it’s a collection that skilfully stratifies historical periods, notably 20th century exploration. This link was made particularly explicit by the fact the luxury brand also tied the presentation to the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Dynasty Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb by British archaeologist Howard Carter.

“My interest in ancient Egypt is about the stars and the sky,” notes Jones. “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.”

Photography Mohsen Othman

The ambitious spectacle was soundtracked by Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’, reworked live by acclaimed composer Max Richter and his orchestra. Friends of Dior in attendance included Robert Pattinson, Lewis Hamilton, Sehun, Eunwoo Cha, Naomi Campbell and Daniel Kaluuya, among many others.

With its creative collision of fantasy and antiquity, stretching to space and back, Dior has gone so much further than the old adage: “Aim for the stars and you might hit the steeple.”

dior.com

California Couture

Paris meets LA in Dior and ERL’s SS23 collaboration

Photography Gaëtan Bernède

It is a Thursday evening in Venice Beach when the Dior x ERL Spring 23 collection is shown, and a nylon wave is rolling, languid and cerulean, down Windward Avenue, towards the ocean. In the crest of the wave, the audience watches models walk down its parted centre: hot-pink shorts, bare chests, fur saddlebags, logo tube socks pulled far up above untied skate shoes. Suspended above them the Venice sign glitters in the twilight, the words ‘ERL’ and ‘DIOR’ strung underneath.

Emblazoned in green and orange glitter on the fronts of slouchy polo-necks, ‘California Couture’ acts as both a title and mission statement for the collection. It’s Paris-meets-LA, Dior-grey satin suits teamed with crystal brooches and embroidered sweatshirts, quilted jackets slung over pearl-encrusted knits. There’s a playfulness here, a winking irreverence that nevertheless pays sincere tribute to the history of Dior. This desire to push boundaries is in keeping with Kim Jones’ tenure as artistic director of Dior Men’s, with previous collections taking inspiration from references as eclectic as the Beat poets, Travis Scott and Parisian statues. Jones talks about how, for this collection, he “wanted to work with someone in a different way; I wanted somebody to see Dior from a different angle.”

In this light, a collaboration with Eli Russell Linnetz, creative director of ERL, feels entirely natural. Born and raised amongst the surfers, skaters and starlets of Venice Beach, Linnetz’s chameleon-like ability to turn his hand to anything he desires – assisting David Mamet on Broadway, directing the music videos for Kanye West’s ‘Famous’ and ‘Fade’, designing the set for Lady Gaga’s Enigma tour, or voicing a character in The Emperor’s New Groove – makes him the perfect choice to embody Jones’ vision of a Dior Men’s that fuses old and new, high art and pop culture, street fashion and couture. Linnetz describes how he and Jones began by exploring the 1991 Dior archive, the year of his birth. As he puts it, “this was during Gianfranco Ferré’s period as artistic director and was a part of the history of Dior that felt completely fresh for both Kim and me.” It’s here that the collection’s maximalism originates: “a coming together of chaos and perfectionism. There’s a collision of moments in time and history throughout the collection, of cross-generational and spatial meetings in time.”

The result is a synthesis of downtown Venice Beach spontaneity and 8th arrondissement refinery, an all-American dream of Paris: surf-inspired shorts, lived-in knits and loose, silky fabrics in the colours of a beach sunset – pale pink, dusky blue, and an intense, heart stopping fuchsia. Yet all the facets that make something unmistakably, quintessentially Dior – an unparalleled flair for tailoring, the iconic Cannage motif – are there, rendered this time in satin and leather quilting, in flowing pastel suits and padded skate shoes. It is, as Jones says, “both familiar and revelatory; reaffirming why we both dreamed about working in fashion in the first place.”

dior.com

Photography Gaëtan Bernède

Styling Karlmond Tang

Model Feranmi Ajetomobi at Wilhelmina and Ed Killingbeck at Premier

Grooming Charlie Cullen

Casting Marqee Miller

Photography assistant Eduardo Guida

This article is taken from Port issue 31. To continue reading, buy the issue or subscribe here

Still Yawning


Left: Jacket GENEVIEVE Shirt KIKO KOSTADINOV Trousers KIKO KOSTADINOV Shoes KIKO KOSTADINOV Right: Jumper LOEWE Trousers PRONOUNCE Shoes BOTTEGA VENETA

CANALI Sunglasses Stylist’s own

Top ACNE STUDIO Skirt ACNE STUDIO Corset IZABELLA BILINSKA Sunglasses MICHAEL KORS AT LUXOTTICA Shoes KIKO KOSTADINOV

Jacket LOEWE T-shirt MARTINE ROSE Trousers PER GÖTESSON Shoes MARTINE ROSE

Jumper BOTTEGA VENETA Trousers BOTTEGA VENETA Scarf ACNE STUDIO Shoes BOTTEGA VENETA

Left: Cardigan NANUSHKA Trousers IZABELLA BILINSKA Shoes LOEWE Right: Knit PRONOUNCE Shorts LOEWE Shoes JIL SANDER

Leather jacket DIESEL Jeans VALENTINO Shoes Model’s own

Top CLAN Skirt Stylist’s own Tights Stylist’s own Shoes DIOR Skirt on rail BOSS Bag on floor TOD’S

DIOR HOMME

HERMÈS

Shirt ARMANI Top ARMANI Trousers ARMANI Shoes UGO PAULON

PRADA

Photography Moritz Tibes

Styling Julie Velut

Set design Anna Barnett

Hairstyling Moe Mukai

Make up Grace Ellington

Models Shu at XDIRECTN, Teddy at XDIRECTN, Maude at The Hive Management, Alec at IMM

Casting FOUND Casting

This article is taken from Port issue 30. To continue reading, buy the issue or subscribe here

The Persistence of Memory


BORSALINO X AMI

LOUIS VUITTON

BURBERRY

GIORGIO ARMANI

CELINE

NANUSHKA

BERLUTI

DIOR

HERMÈS

PRADA

STEFAN COOKE

SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO

MARGARET HOWELL

HUGO BOSS

Photography Joe Lai 

Set design Jade Boyeldieu d’Auvigny 

Styling Lune Kuipers

This article is taken from Port issue 30. To continue reading, buy the issue or subscribe here

Unsquare Dance


Earring ACNE STUDIOS

Jacket, roll-neck and trousers PRADA, Choker LUDOVIC DE SAINT SERNIN

Jumper and necklace HERMÈS

Suit and necklaces SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO, vest HANRO

Jacket, shirt, roll neck, trousers and brooch DIOR

Roll-neck and earring CELINE BY HEDI SLIMANE

Coat SALVATORE FERRAGAMO and bracelet SOPHIE BUHAI VIA WHITEBIRD

Jacket, roll-neck and trousers ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA, Necklace AMBUSH

Roll neck and trousers VALENTINO and necklace LE GRAMME

Bracelet LE GRAMME

Shirt and necklace GUCCI

Suit, roll neck and belt DRIES VAN NOTEN

Cuff BOTTEGA VENETA

Coat and necklace JIL SANDER BY LUCIE & LUKE MEIER

Photography Julien T. Hamon

Styling Lune Kuipers

Grooming Natsumi Ebiko using Oribe

Casting director Rama Casting

Models Francois Delacroix at The Claw Models and Leopold C. at Rock Men

Styling assistant Apolline Baillet

This article is taken from Port issue 29. To continue reading, buy the issue or subscribe here

New Heights


Ungho: Coat FENDI. Luard: Shirt PAUL SMITH, Scarf DUNHILL, Trousers PAUL SMITH

Coat & knitted body PRADA, Hat BERLUTI

Jacket DUNHILL, Trousers SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

Luard: Coat DIOR. Ungho: Full look ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

Shirt VALENTINO, Trousers VALENTINO

Ungho: Full look JIL SANDER BY LUCIE & LUKE MEIER. Luard: Top BOTTEGA VENETA, Trousers MARGARET HOWELL, Boots FENDI

GIORGIO ARMANI

Luard: Shirt and trousers NANUSHKA, Roll-neck BERLUTI, Shoes PRADA. Ungho: Full look CANALI

Ungho: Scarf SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO, Shirt MARGARET. Luard: Coat BOTTEGA VENETA, Shirt CELINE BY HEDI SLIMANE, Trousers AMI, Shoes BOTTEGA VENETA

Full look HERMÈS

Luard: Jacket NANUSHKA, Shirt GUCCI, Trousers DUNHILL. Ungho: Coat MARGARET HOWELL, Scarf MARGARET HOWELL

Luard: Coat CELINE BY HEDI SLIMANE, Hoodie CELINE BY HEDI SLIMANE, Trousers SALVATORE FERRAGAMO, Shoes PRADA. Ungho: Jacket FENDI, Roll-neck FENDI, Trousers BOTTEGA VENETA, Shoes BOTTEGA VENETA

Photography Conor Clinch

Styling Mitchell Belk

Models Luard and Ungho at Elite London

Grooming Asahi Sano at Caren using Bumble and Bumble

Casting Ikki Casting

Production Kat Perry

This article is taken from Port issue 29. To continue reading, buy the issue or subscribe here

Discreet Chimera

Dior and sacai splice identities

Born in the landlocked countryside of Gifu, Chitose Abe spent her childhood making clothes for dolls. Her mother was a seamstress, and, at the request of Abe, could often be found tailoring her outfits, adjusting hems to turn heads. Rural neighbours clucked and tutted, finding her uncompromising style and personal quirks “bizarre”. The metropolis of Tokyo beckoned. After finishing design school, she worked as a patternmaker under Rei Kawakubo at the avant-garde Comme des Garçons, eventually leaving to raise her newborn daughter. Abe would shake off her creative ennui in motherhood two years later by starting her own home-run label: sacai, a derivation of her maiden name.

What began in 1999 as a modest offering of hand-knitted garments has since grown into a global beast. Renowned for its collaborations and hybridisation – splicing and juxtaposing cut and cloth – Abe’s stake remains at 100 per cent, meaning she makes what she wants, still does the accounting, and works with whomever she pleases. Kim Jones, Dior Men’s artistic director, is her latest design accomplice. “Working with sacai was a very personal choice because of our close friendship,” notes Jones. “I’ve known Chitose for a long time, and we’ve always had this conversation about doing a project together. Samples were sent back and forth between both studios and we spoke a lot. Everyone in Paris and Tokyo worked together. There have always been links between Dior and Japan, so I felt that it would be nice to reinforce a bond that isn’t physically possible at the moment.”

Released this November, the duo’s 57-piece collection is a sharp assimilation of tailoring, couture, work-, and sportswear. Archetypes from the French house – overcoats, the Tailleur Oblique, floral motifs – are completed in signature sacai fabrics such as Japanese denim, nylon, and textured jacquard, while contrasting panels and utilitarian detailing lend a roaming asymmetry. The concentrated palette of white and near-black blue is offset by pocket and drawstring embellishments on the capsule’s standout saddle and duffle bags, dashes of olive and orange referencing Abe’s classic bomber jacket. From the soft berets courtesy of Stephen Jones down to the triple-soled Chelsea boots, each item is a considered synthesis. The two voices are distinct yet coalesce – illustrated by ‘sacai’ itself being embedded in the slender ‘I’ of Dior’s logotype; a testament to the exchange, and the independent spirit of Abe.

dior.com

This article is taken from Port issue 29. To continue reading, buy the issue or subscribe here

When Worlds Collide

The ancient savoir-faire behind Dior men’s fall 2021 collection

Modernity meets antiquity in the latest colourful collaboration between Kim Jones and American artist Kenny Scharf. Originally intended to be presented in Beijing, Dior men’s fall 2021 collection – unveiled yesterday – combines a heady mix of street art, pop culture, science fiction and ancient, traditional technique. It’s a fantastically surreal antidote to the grey of 2020.

Silhouettes are loose and relaxed, with military cuts coming to the fore in trousers and jackets, punctuated by the cartoon-like, day-glo designs of Scharf. The LA-based artist was chosen as an emblematic figure of the interdisciplinary East Village art scene in the 1980s – alongside luminaries such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring – further illustrating Jones’ desire to bring art onto the runway.

The house also enlisted the talents of Chinese embroidery masters to translate Scharf’s 1984 painting ‘When Worlds Collide’ into a shirt, using one of the most highly skilled stitches, the seed stitch. The 2000-year-old technique which dates back to the Han dynasty – also known as the ‘forbidden stitch’ because its laborious fineness could ruin sight through eyestrain – was employed using 300 different colours of silk yarn. Given that it took ​1,600 hours to complete, it’s another wonderful example of Dior’s ability to fuse contrasting cultures, savoir-faire and timelines to great effect.

In an exclusive for Port, you can see the process behind the embroidery here (subtitles recommended) –

dior.com

B27

Dior unveils new sneakers by Kim Jones

Artistic director of Dior men’s collections, Kim Jones, has made a savoir-faire statement with his new B27 sportswear sneakers. Taking their cue from vintage tennis and skateboarding shoes, the refined trainers are available in both low and high-top, as well as Mr Dior’s signature shades of white, black or grey.

The multi-material finish combines beautiful calf leather and nubuck with the house’s Dior Oblique jacquard or the Dior Oblique Galaxy — in perforated leather — designed for the Spring 2021 men’s collection. To be expected from the French luxury brand, the trainers champion its leather-working heritage, from edge dyeing to topstitching at the hands of the petites mains in their Italian workshops. A three-dimensional effect is created through careful layering of the shoe’s inlays, while loving details such as eyelets shaped after the iconic “CD” logo and heels embossed ‘DIOR’ leave no doubt as to who is behind the artistry. The detailed ‘making of’ process can be viewed below – 

 

The Dior B27 sneakers will be available in Dior stores and online from November 2020