Kim Jones used a spectacular backdrop for his SS 2024 menswear collection for Dior in Paris. Models emerged from panels in the floor and disappeared into them after the fashion show, using a series of elevators.
Kim Jones is known for his passion for spectacular shows. During his time at Dior, he created a range of dramatic settings, from a painstaking recreation of Paris’s Pont Alexandre III to an artificial garden with more than 9,000 real wildflowers and laser-lit illumination of the Pyramids of Giza. This time, the images of plants and technology were combined – Jones claims that with the help of figures emerging from the ground he wanted to create the illusion of a “mechanical garden”.
It was Jones’ fifth anniversary at the fashion house, and the collection itself was a celebration of that milestone. The venue for the show was chosen to be the École Militaire, where for this occasion a huge gray pavilion was built on the territory of an 18th-century military college. However, there was nothing surprising upon entering – the runway of the catwalk was a rough metal mesh along which spectators sat on raised seats.
As the lights dimmed and the show began, a stunt happened: All 50 panels on the floor lit up and opened, and the models rode up in separate elevators to present the collection all at once. Then, one after another, they circled around the square, then stood on their panels and disappeared again in threes.
Jones views the setting as an abstract garden, and this is a recurring image in his work. For the spring-summer 2022 collection, he used garden aprons, gloves and sun hats – and thus referenced the founder of the house, Christian Dior. An avid gardener himself, Jones’s obsession with flowers stems from his childhood watching his mother tend to her beloved rose garden at the family home in Granville, Normandy.
“When young men in hats rise through the floor, they are like growing plants – like a mechanical garden where the hidden is revealed. The hats echo the organic shapes of flowers, and now this style is a new way of interpreting Christian Dior’s garden,” says the designer.
The collection itself quotes the work of the house’s previous creative directors, including Marc Bohan and Yves Saint Laurent. “I like to think that in my five years here I have never forgotten this, that this is a culture that we have inherited from women’s clothing of the past and apply to men’s clothing of the present. For the first time in our collections, this collage of influences from different Dior predecessors and eras that we wanted to remember appeared.”