Dior and K-Pop craze overtake menswear at Paris Fashion Week


COMMENTARY

PARIS – Dior mania descended on menswear at Paris Fashion Week on Friday as more than a thousand screaming fans gathered on the magnificent Place de la Concorde to catch a glimpse of their favorite stars, with some almost risking their lives theirs in heavy traffic.

Attendants of the show’s VIP guests, including David Beckham, Naomi Campbell and members of the Korean group BTS, J-Hope and Jimin, floated through the crowd like salmon swimming upstream.

Inside, Dior men’s designer Kim Jones paid tribute to Yves Saint Laurent, who became the world’s youngest designer at the age of 21 in 1957 after the death of Christian Dior.

Here are some highlights of the Fall-Winter 2023-2024 collections:

In 1958, Saint Laurent unveiled his first collection for Christian Dior. It was a global event that saw the designer attract thousands upon thousands of screaming fans who thronged the streets. Some things never change, even in 65 years.

Kim Jones used that women’s collection as inspiration for his men’s – mirroring his contrasts of masculine versus feminine tailoring and British tailoring versus fashion.

Jones also captured his fluidity to produce a gender-neutral display of toned shapes and loose waists. Unbuttoned, flared suits cut a beautiful trapeze silhouette, as did smart white knit sweaters with sleeves ripped to flap like a poncho.

Jones did his homework. At Saint Laurent’s debut, he abandoned Dior’s cinched waists and long fabrics in favor of more fluid shapes in which the body disappeared, effectively inventing the trapeze silhouette.

Some Jones styles, like an updated navy top, were lifted straight from the 1958 archive.

But this sublime display was much more than a simple tribute. Three-dimensional printed shoes followed the contemporary vests of sheer organza with tiered stripes, and looked aggressive yet feminine. The shoulder tailoring on a pearl-embellished coat evoked both a stripped-down rebel and an opening flower.

STARS OF DIOR, THESPIANS

The unique combination of celebrity, art, hysteria, beauty and perfume spread in the Dior show simply overwhelmed the senses. It began with extraordinary filmed performances of actors Gwendoline Christie and Robert Pattinson reciting excerpts of poetry, interspersed with images of the Dior collection.

“I’m really, really happy to be here at the Dior show,” Christie told the AP. “It’s no surprise that Kim Jones is one of our biggest current designers that we have. I’m also very lucky that he’s a very old friend of mine.”

But even the cute Christie, star of Dior and Game of Thrones, looked shocked when reporters took her down a second after the arrival of BTS’s Jimin, who was recently announced as Dior’s brand ambassador.

PAUL SMITH CHANGED CENTURIES

Smith entered the history books for a thoughtful performance that seemed to merge London from the 1970s with the city in the 1870s.

A quilted coat with a checked cape demonstrated this perfectly. It blew out the back and looked like it was modeled on Baker Street and could have been worn by Sherlock Holmes if it came with a tube.

Elsewhere, a high white collar had a great 19th-century feel, while a dark velvet coat with a large collar had a nice textured thickness.

Such old-fashioned thinking gave autumn-winter a tougher style than usual, but it was a welcome change.

The 1970s, a Smith touchstone, were also on abundant display. Designs included wind-checked coats, vibrant trousers with blue prints and loose colored suits with broad, rounded shoulders.

The most beautiful scenes were those that merged both eras, such as a loose cerulean coat with voluminous layers, twinned with a striped blue silk nest.

Bright colors and whimsical whimsy infused Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh’s fabulous fall fare together.

If there was an overarching theme in Botter’s ever-creative and eccentric show, it was surely randomness.

A blue bikini was whimsically stitched over a shimmering satin shirt-dress. The outer layer of a suit jacket was peeled away to reveal an underlayer similar to snakeskin. A mermaid look featured a salmon print on a tight bodice that cascaded down to a billowing metallic satin skirt. A pink knit sweater layered over the front of another sweater was perhaps a tongue-in-cheek swipe at how cold the weather in Paris has been lately.



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