Editor's Pick, Style

Dior Men SS24 is all about revisiting the archives

Dior Men SS24 is all about revisiting the archives

When was the last time you heard the sound of thunderous applause even before the first look is out? Not often indeed, but at the Dior Men Summer 2024 show, it was hard not to join the crowd in their amazement. With models elevating up from hidden floor contraptions, Jones presented a diorama of all the things he is best at — creating rich collections detailed in styles of epic proportions. Couture inklings trickle throughout, and sublime cuts of tailoring with multi-coloured beanie hats were the showstoppers. 

Whether his strength lies in taking apart the archives and imbuing new life into them or establishing couture abbreviations of everything that appears in the vocabulary of menswear, we should all be able to agree on one thing by now — Kim Jones certainly gets it when it comes to menswear.

There are typically two ways things can play out when an artistic lead is appointed at a luxury house; they either successfully revitalise it by reinterpreting its historical codes and archives into refreshing new ideas, or find themselves replicating an endless stream of one-hit wonders from their predecessors to disappointing results despite massive sale records. 

Natalie Dykes for Men’s Folio

As artistic director of Dior Men, Jones never once traversed upon the latter, even as menswear thickens in complexity thanks to a new generation that demands to be entertained. And whilst he could have stuck to making generally captivating clothes, the general public imagination — who are not usually part of the clientele regularly buying their ready-to-wear and bags — needed to be convinced otherwise for the name ‘
Dior’ to live on in public memory. 

In the last five years since he has helmed the role, there were enough tricks that maintained the right amount of accessibility of Dior’s legacy, with offerings that honour its codes, and oftentimes, proposals that counter what most would think of the house. Think of the ambitious collaborations that cross-pollinated luxury fashion with the ideals of the high street — from partnerships with Rimowa, Birkenstock, Shawn Stussy, and KAWS, to name a few. 

Each time, they produce just the right amount of shake-up within the industry, even to the point where others have even attempted to replicate his formula. But it might not be fair to define the artistic director simply by the merit of his collaborations. In the last five years at Dior Men, he has procured a unique sensibility to the way the codes of Dior should be interpreted, and Summer 2024, which harmoniously takes its inspiration from previous auteurs such as Yves Saint Laurent, Gianfranco Ferre and Marc Bohan. This time, for once, perhaps the collection was larger than its inspiration. Because for once, it highlights just how Kim Jones made the surreal legacy of Christian Dior accessible to a new generation once again.