It was almost a given that the Dior Men Winter 2024 collection would once again be artistic director Kim Jones' homage to the storied history and archives of the House. Jones' continued reverence for the House has undoubtedly created some of the most inspiring contemporary pieces of late. And the fact that he's able to do so season after season, displays just how extensive the Dior archive is—there are still so many stories to discover and rediscover. Jones is helping to tell those stories.
For Winter 2024, Jones focused on the relationship between Dior and ballet, specifically Margot Fonteyn and Monsieur Dior, and by extension, the former's dance partner, Rudolf Nureyev. In a surprising happenstance, Jones' uncle—photographer and former ballet dancer Colin Jones—too had a link to Nureyev, having photographed the legend and developed a friendship with him. The Winter 2024 collection was thus fashioned as a complete wardrobe of a dancer's life, both onstage and off—channelled through Nureyev's life.
And if you think theatricality was left only in the clothes (including a Dior Men haute couture finale debut), you'd be sorely mistaken. Jones has been dabbling with the runway show theatrics of late. Summer 2024's show saw models ascending from the ground; Winter 2024 saw models ascending to the starry sky of the showspace in a stirring finale that in some ways, reminded me of the staging of one of the rooms in La Galarie Dior.
The fit: Tailoring was sharp and languid all the same—once again taking inspiration from Yves Saint Laurent's definitive silhouette for the House. But for Winter 2024, I'd like to focus on how the collection felt like it's made ready for travel. The collection consisted more of separate pieces than specifically designed coordinates, meaning that everything could be easily spliced and remixed together, reflecting the malleability of a dancer's off-duty wardrobe. Just grab a few pieces and one would essentially look pretty put together.
There's an apparent '70s vibe to the entire collection, marked by the simplicity of the shapes and the lack of excessive details (especially in the beginning looks). Fastenings too were designed to be easy—zips were rampant throughout the entire collection on everything from coats to rompers to deep-V cardigans.
The details: Ballet slippers were interpreted as Mary Jane loafers in a multitude of colours. One that stood out the most on the runway for me was one rendered in an electric blue, paired almost casually with a more grounding brown outfit (look 19). There were also more obvious interpretations of ballet slippers as well as slip-ons thrown in the mix.
Cannage bags were crafted from silk-like material, giving off a sheen that looked luxurious even from the elevated seating I was put at. They came in the form of camera as well as bum bags that added a utilitarian juxtaposition to the ready-to-wear's more elegant designs. One particular bag that immediately caught my eye was a backpack (look 47) embroidered with a somewhat blown-up toile de Jouy motif and paired with a top done in the same treatment. Beautiful.
While this collection felt more commercial and simplified than perhaps the Summer 2024 collection, the details were still aplenty, especially in the couture offerings. Embroidered collars and waists took on intricate forms, enveloping the circumference of where they're positioned and encasing the body with armour-like protection.
Three exceptional looks: Look 4's unassuming romper paired with a turban (inspired by a 1999 Stephen Jones creation for Dior womenswear) and mustard socks; the scrumptious oversized brown coat worn with leather trousers for a monochromatic fit in look 21; and the divine jewelled mastery of look 50 that also combined elements of Jones' interpretation of Dior Men that I personally gravitate towards.
The takeaway: A brilliant way of gaining inspiration from ballet without forcefully injecting tutus and skirts and all that stereotypical ilk.
View the full Dior Men Winter 2024 collection in the gallery below.
Artistic director Kim Jones has already revealed that the starting point of the Dior Men Winter 2024 collection is the relationship between Dior and ballet. Jones has also linked it to his own personal story of having an uncle who was a ballet dancer and connected to Rudolf Nureyez—quite easily one of the most renowned ballet dancers in history.
Knowing how Jones operates in the soft and often romantic side of things, there's little doubt the Dior Men Winter 2024 collection would be rather gender-blurring but in the most unexpected ways. Don't expect to see tutu skirts though; Jones will definitely put his own magical spin on ballet-influenced details.
For any confirmation, stay tuned for the show this Friday. And for an even closer look at the collection, follow @esquiresg on Instagram as we bring you the action live from Paris Fashion Week Men's.
What: Dior Men Winter 2024 runway show
Where: Paris, France
When: Friday, 19 January 2024 at 10pm Singapore time
In 1967, Marc Bohan conceptualised the Dior Oblique motif. The longtime creative director of the House (an almost 30-year tenure) first applied the motif on a bag from Dior’s haute couture collection in 1969. Throughout the years, the Dior Oblique has been applied on all manner of pieces by the House— from ready-to-wear to luggage to even the floors of its Dior Monsieur boutique in 1974.
Fast forward to today, the Dior Oblique remains one of Dior’s most quintessential elements. It’s become a mark of the House’s creativity with a range of treatments and interpretations imagined every now and then. The latest, is perhaps one that captures Monsieur Dior’s nonconformist spirit.
The Maxi Dior Oblique revokes any decree that branded logos and motifs are dead. As its name suggests, the Dior Oblique has been blown up like never before for Dior Men’s Spring 2024 collection. Each letter of the motif now takes significant real estate on a range of travel-ready bags and accessories. The collection’s Weekender 40 bag, for example, looks exceptionally roomier with the Maxi Dior Oblique canvas construction giving the illusion of a magnified proportion.
While the Maxi Dior Oblique may look audacious in its original colourway—there’s certainly no mistaking that it’s a Dior—a second all-black option provides a more subtle interpretation but one that’s impactful all the same. The Maxi Dior Oblique is rendered in black and set against a base that’s a couple of shades lighter. When employed on a pair of high-top B23 sneakers, the canvas adds depth and dimension. The motif may not be immediately obvious at first glance, but becomes apparent at multiple angles and in motion.
But the point of the Maxi Dior Oblique isn’t solely for the brash visual of Dior’s signature. It’s an extension of the Dior attitude—of going against the grain and challenging perceptions. After all, this is the same House that proposed a “new look” that further feminised women’s fashion post-World War II.
What’s the inverse of “quiet luxury”? This is it.
When a design is as revered as the Dior Saddle, any attempts at refreshing its look could be potentially contentious. But Dior Men artistic director Kim Jones is not one to stay on the side of convention. After all, this is the man who has been tapping into the House’s more feminine-centric haute couture history to build and expand its menswear universe. And with the Dior Saddle, Jones continues to revisit the fundamentals of its design and to transmute them into inspired accessories.
The Dior Saddle bag was first conceived more than two decades ago by former artistic director John Galliano. It’s essentially a shoulder purse, meant to be worn tight right in the armpit with its short top handle sitting on one’s—typically a woman’s—shoulder. It wasn’t until Jones’ debut collection for Dior Men that the bag was officially de-genderised. The top handle strap was replaced by a more industrial-looking adjustable one that adapts for crossbody wear and differentiated from its women’s counterpart by a Matthew M. Williams-designed buckle.
If the Saddle bag designed for men captures a more defiant spirit from the original, the latest inspired creation refines the look further. For the Dior Men winter 2023 collection, Jones opts to pay tribute to the elegance of the equestrian world—the origins of the Saddle bag.
The Dior Saddle Boxy bag looks more simplified from the outside. The leather tails attached to the magnetic flap of the original have been removed altogether for a more graphic focus on the curved lines of the bag. With this new iteration, what you’re getting is pretty much a storage upgrade—the Dior Saddle Boxy features an extended body acting as the main compartment topped with a zipper. The original Dior Saddle silhouette then becomes the bag’s smaller front compartment. The dimensions of the Dior Saddle Boxy are about the same as the Dior Saddle but now divided into two compartments for better organisation.
Instead of grained calfskin, the Dior Saddle Boxy is dressed in the house’s new Dior Oblique Gravity leather. Not only is the entire body embossed with the signature Dior Oblique motif, it’s also done in a cloudy effect that is further emphasised through the patent treatment. The straps—a top handle as well as an adjustable shoulder strap that are both detachable—have too been refined. They’re cut from leather and are intentionally thin in width to reflect the more elegant profile.
Regard this latest take as the more grown up, elevated version—one you could easily pair with a suit without feeling as though you’re making the entire outfit a touch more casual. The look of the Dior Saddle Boxy may be a slight departure from the original, yet the functionality and versatility remain. And that’s exactly how you rework an icon.
The Dior Saddle Boxy is now available in boutiques and online.
It would have been easy to make his fifth anniversary as artistic director of Dior Men all about him. And it would've been justifiable too, seeing how Kim Jones has continuously crafted collection after collection of menswear offerings while tapping into Dior's archives and haute couture sensibilities. Jones' inclination to collaborate with other brands, designers, and artists have also helped widened Dior Men's reach.
Yet, the Dior Men spring/summer 2024 collection was far from an ego trip.
True to form, Jones once again referenced Dior's storied history. "Dior is an haute couture house: it is all about the clothes. At the heart of Dior is silhouette, shape, technique and fabrication of the very highest order," says Jones in the collection notes. "It's a culture we have inherited from womenswear past and applied to menswear present. And for the first time in our collections, it is a collage of influences from different Dior predecessors and eras we wanted to pay tribute to at once—together with some of our own. All are connected through texture and technique alongside some of the Dior pop icons, particularly the Cannage."
The show's staging seemed to suggest—on his fifth anniversary no less; a feat that not many can claim in fashion nowadays—that Jones was leaving it all out in the open. The entirety of the collection's 51 looks ascended from below the tiled floor and models stood waiting for their turn to walk along the grid's perimeter. There was no pretence in the spring/summer 2024 collection—no surprises, just well executed designs that cemented the Dior Men canon he's crafted five years ago.
The fit: Jones referenced a quartet of the house's former creative heads for the Dior Men spring/summer 2024 collection. Yves Saint Laurent's silhouettes were the guiding principle in the collection's look, particularly in the effortless, sweeping tailoring brought about by trousers cropped slightly above the ankles and at times designed with pleats for added volume. The collection's defining piece, the cardigan, was casually draped over shoulders in multiple variations of Cannage tweeds, Gianfranco Ferré-inspired ornate embellishments as well as dripping cabochons—the latter a Monsieur Dior nod.
Marc Bohan's play of textures informed the tactile elements of the collection. Tweed was the main vehicle used across a variety of pieces, expanding its use from just the traditional. It was seen on everything from summer-appropriate vests to all manner of the collection's bags and accessories, especially the iconic Saddle.
The details: Loafers—tweed or otherwise—were stamped with a new circular Dior logo derived from the Lady Dior hardware. The logo appeared as buckles on a number of bags too. Sandwich bags crafted in a selection of the collection's key fabrications would most likely be the novelty accessory of the season, and was most beautifully executed in supple leather decorated with the Cannage motif. The eye-catching beanies seen on a number of models, incorporated ronghua right in the centre. These velvet flowers were crafted by master craftsmen in the trade who worked closely with the Dior ateliers.
Three exceptional looks: Look 7's stunning Cannage tweed coat in signature Dior grey and paired with a pop of bold colour in the form of a beanie; the tailoring in look 31 that incorporated a bowtie appliqué on a pocket of the three-buttoned blazer; and the closing look 51 that was dripping with cabochons paired with high-fluo pink.
The takeaway: Who needs a collaboration when the past offers so much inspiration and content to remix for the now?
View the full Dior Men spring/summer 2024 collection in the gallery below.
It was five years ago that artistic director Kim Jones presented his very first runway collection for Dior Men. The collection marked a turning point for the house's menswear universe with Jones adapting Christian Dior's women-centric creations and haute couture techniques for men. And of course, it heralded a time of collaborations with partners outside of the realm of fashion.
The Dior Men spring/summer 2024 runway show marks the fifth-year anniversary of Jone at the house. Offering a teaser into what the collection could look like, the house invited Australian actor Felix Mallard—of Netflix's Ginny & Georgia fame—into some of the archival inspirations that Jones were taken by. Cabochon jewellery as well as tweed, for example, look to be key elements of the collection.
If Jones is looking to emulate the kind of collaborative successes that he's introduced for Dior Men since the beginning of his tenure, we may also see one for spring/summer 2024.
Watch the Dior Men spring/summer 2024 runway show here live from Paris Fashion Week Men's.
What: Dior Men spring/summer 2024 runway show
Where: Paris, France
When: Friday, 23 June 2023 at 9pm Singapore time