Celebrating the fifth anniversary of Men’s Artistic Director Kim Jones’ time at Dior, the House’s Men’s Summer 2024 collection show was a melting pot of fashion history. Weaving together traditions of the past with a contemporary flair, the collection revisited the seminal eras of Dior.
Within the courtyard of École Militaire, Paris’s military training complex, a specially-built box-shaped structure housed hundreds of eager spectators.
As the room faded to black, the faint outlines of floor panels began to glow, opening to reveal space beneath them. Rising from these hidden trap doors, the models emerged as still mannequins, turning the area into a live museum.
At the signal of their respective floor lights flicking off, the models took turns taking life, marching around the walkway while the others stood motionless.
Setting the tributary tone for the collection, the premier outfits featured sweaters decorated with a cannage motif. This style of stitching, inspired by the patterns of Napoléon III chairs Founder Christian Dior used during the brand’s first show in 1947, has since become an intrinsic part of Dior’s story.
Alongside the symbolic technique of cannage were tweeds and embroidered jewels, two mainstays of the brand’s wardrobe.
Applications of tweed borrowed from Dior’s 1960 Autumn/Winter collection, when Yves Saint Laurent was creative director. Comprised of wools, nylons, tape yarns, and Lurex, the thick multicolored tweed yarns contributed savoir-faire to jackets, overcoats, tank tops, and pants.
Christian Dior’s association of jewels with clothing has kept them as an ever-present attribute on the brand’s garments. Cemented in designer Gianfranco Ferré’s Dior Spring/Summer 1991 collection, the embroidered jewels of this collection evoked Ferré’s vision, their water-falling patterns of cabochon extending down jackets and vests.
Pulling a page out of Marc Bohan’s stint at Dior, textures conveyed a softness, caressing the body with their snug embrace. Supplementing this sentiment was a collaboration of cool and warm tones, each playing to the strengths of their individual pieces.
References to the iconic Lady Dior bag appeared in the form of footwear, heavy-soled loafers and slides brandishing a modernized take on the classic Lady Dior logo. Named after Princess Diana of Wales, who helped skyrocket the bag’s popularity during the 90s, the shoe’s sense of formality resonated with their inspiration’s namesake.
Mixing beanie and Phrygian cap, the new age headwear prominently flourished vibrant velvet flowers produced in China. Dubbed ‘ronghua’, the practice of creating these floral displays dates back to the Tang Dynasty of 618-907, this tradition preserved in the present day.
Bags followed the collection trends of cannage and tweed, with leather also taking shape. Showcasing a range of sizes, the saddles, satchels, sandwich bags, and rucksacks added further sophistication to the attire.
With the show coming to a close, Jones arrived on the showroom floor, walking between the lines of models to thunderous applause. Giving waves to the audience as he passed, Jones made his way offstage, the models lowering back into the ground to the sound of a standing ovation.
Drawing from Christian Dior and his successors, the brand’s Men’s Summer 2024 collection was a reminder of Dior’s roots and the aspects that continue to make them a beloved brand.
Here are our favorite looks:
Image credit: Dior