“Granville and Sussex have a similar climate; Time, light and the garden connect one place to another. For Christian Dior and Duncan Grant, their homes, gardens and private environments were so important to their creativity. It was these meaningful private spheres that were translated into their work and made public. Here we mix utilitarian, natural and gardening elements with stylized, luxurious and never-before-seen facets and Duncan Grant artworks in the collection – the private and the public together. There is a sense of the passage of time, the changing weather and light of the seasons, as well as continuity, artistic communities and the heritage of the house of Dior. Kim Jones
Conceived as a continuation of the conversation begun for the winter, that of looking at Christian Dior in this year of the 75th anniversary of the House, the collection is here once again made glorious by Kim Jones, the artistic director of the men’s collections. We travel through space and time from Paris to the countryside, Normandy and Granville – Dior’s birthplace and the home of his legendary garden – as well as Sussex and Charleston, the country residence of the artist of the Bloomsbury Duncan Grant group. Once again, personal stories intertwine throughout the collection, linking the past to the present and the future of the house; From past creative circles to their influence on current circles.
The changing light and mutability of the natural environment is reflected in the collection’s color palette, from gradations of grays, pinks and Dior pastels, to utilitarian gardening, walking and fishing, greens and blue. All are employed with a certain well-bred rebellion; A carelessness in clothing and accessories, both extravagant and practical, formal and informal, which betray a layering of history but evoke an effortless contemporary existence. Reclaimed cashmere, tailored double-breasted coats are paired with tailored shorts in 1930s fabrications – with built-in turn-down belts – and walking shoes. New Bar jackets continue, crafted in semi-sheer silk organza, to reveal the strict, traditional masculine construction of the garments underneath; Swept-back cotton coats hang casually over Tech reflective vests; Duncan Grant’s Lily Pond Screen (C.1913) punctuates reflective technical fabric and traditional tapestry; Dior Cannage continues to be used as utility quilting for coats; While Duncan Grant’s sketches are translated into intricate yet easy hand knits.
Clever carelessness paired with sleek functionality also produces effortless everyday luxury in the collection’s bags and shoes, belying the intricacy of the design process behind both. L’Atelier along with Mystery Ranch – a technical outdoor brand revered for its work with the emergency services – is producing new practical, compartmentalized saddle bags, backpacks and fanny packs for the collection. The backpacks, which can be worn with costumes, are equipped with removable waterproof covers and hoods. Embroidered overshoes are associated with Dior Carlo derbies. The new Cannage sandals are made in one piece from recycled rubber, while the boots are made by joining two interconnected pieces. Each is a feat of technical engineering not usually achieved in a fashion house. Stephen Jones’ inimitable millinery also features high-tech construction with 3d printing ‘Pergola’ gardening hats layered over baseball caps. The design is based on the straw gardening hat that Duncan Grant wore throughout his life to paint, combined with the pergola trellis in Monsieur Dior’s garden.