Image: Alfredo Piola
Kim Jones, Dior Men’s artistic director, last showed a collection in his hometown of London in 2003, when he was the creative director at Alfred Dunhill. The Fall 2022 collection, which debuted last week at the Olympia Exhibition Centre, was a homecoming show for the designer, and the collection was inspired by the Beat Generation. The designs featured were heavily influenced by author Jack Kerouac and his seminal novel “On the Road.” Jones sent out 49 looks for the show, and the runway was a replica of Kerouac’s manuscript of “On the Road” — typewritten in a continuous form that stretched over 80 meters long. On the soundtrack, Robert Pattinson recited lines from Kerouac’s works.
Image: Adrien Dirand
Originally, the Beat Generation was made up of writers and poets. Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac were the pioneers. They aimed to upend the status quo by publishing literary works that addressed issues such as sex, drugs, and alcohol. And the youth of the time supported this new change, as evidenced by the development of new styles that defied social norms. Monsieur Christian Dior had already enthralled the fashion world with his “New Look” collection across the Atlantic Ocean in Paris.
The unprecedented show paved the way for the House of Dior to become the fashion purveyor. The Beat Generation’s rebel spirit crossed the Atlantic and made its way to Paris’s Left Bank, where Yves Saint Laurent was appointed as the Maison’s new top designer. Saint Laurent‘s first haute couture show at Dior included Beat Generation elements — the emergence of a youthquake. The fashion choices of the day were dictated by the youth of the time, and Jones saw this happening again in our modern era.
In some ways, Jones is reimagining the story of “On the Road” for the modern era while keeping the essence of “free-form” as the collection’s cornerstone. He described the collection as “a suitcase that is unpacked in a different way every day.” The idea is to mix and match various outfits as desired. The Fall 2022 collection combines the Maison’s couture prowess with American sensibilities. This is evident in the use of technical silks and recycled nylon in conjunction with embroideries and cutting. The collection’s first look is a mix of high and low — the model wore a formal jacket with a graphic tee underneath, which she paired with outdoor boots and sporty drawstring shorts.
Image: Dior Men
Sparkly beanies, intricate knitwear, and vintage-inspired logo jerseys worn with glitter collared shirts also made an appearance on the runway. Chunky V-neck sweaters paired with shorts evoke memories of a road trip taken in college. The signature Dior Saddle Bag received a few new updates as well, and we are confident that it will become the brand’s next hit item. And we couldn’t leave out the patterned socks, which not only complemented each outfit but also stood out when paired with the shoes and boots.
If the 80-metre long runway of Kerouac’s poem wasn’t a big enough nod to the author, there were little “easter eggs” of the author found throughout the range. A white dress shirt with Kerouac’s portrait printed in black and white, as well as a leather motorcycle jacket painted with an image adapted from the cover graphics of Kerouac’s posthumously published novel, “Visions of Cody,” which also featured the show’s invitation. Finally, patches with the phrase “On The Road Again” connected the entire collection.
The Dior Men Fall 2022 Collection was a night to remember from the clothes to the atmosphere.