Set in a garden of delights that stretched across time and continents, Kim Jones’ latest collection for Dior has continued to weave a tapestry of archival and biographical details that pulls from his own English heritage and the personal life of the maison’s founder, Christian Dior. For Dior Men’s Summer 2023, this alchemy found its footing in a recreation of Monsieur Dior’s villa in Granville, Normandy, and Bloomsbury artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant’s Charleston farmhouse in Sussex, where Jones revealed a menswear in full bloom.
It was a disarmingly brilliant way of bringing together multiple threads of influence: from the Bloomsbury Group’s infamous bohemian, gender-fluid lifestyle and collective artistic practices that allowed Jones to continue his exploration of Dior’s signature couture motifs for menswear to more practical elements inspired by gardening that informed the technical fabrications and pragmatic detailing of outdoor clothing. Outside of the atelier where he perfected his artistry as a couturier, Monsieur Christian Dior’s other big love was his garden and the flowers he grew and cultivated at his villa in Granville, Normandy, inspired some of the most memorable symbolism to be found in his work. The result was a playful melange that was as seamless as it was still distinct in its references, in a way that only Jones knows how to deliver.
But over all this perhaps was the love of nature shared by all three – Jones, Dior and the Bloomsbury crew – to be seen in the elegant apiarist hats, Dior gumboots and gardening clogs (the Birkenstock collab should have been a warning of the direction that Jones’ mind was heading). Jones’ vision also went beyond the backyard and into the wild, a place that Jones has throughout his career continually paid high homage to. Outerwear for trekking, double-layered shorts perfect for a hike (and accompanying footwear) along with camo-jackets, backpacks and fleeces had the energy of a young adventurer about to hit the trails. The next phase of glamping? Paintings by Grant, owned by Jones, adorned knitwear and sheer tops, becoming this season’s collectible and wearable art.