Cover Kim Jones, artistic director of Dior Men. (Photo: Jackie Nickerson)

Dior Men’s artistic director Kim Jones teams up with the British artist Peter Doig for a collection inspired by the extravagance of the masculine ceremonial garb

Like a window to the past, the House of Dior’s winter 2021-2022 collection connects the now with then, the contemporary with history and heritage, through creations that combine Dior emblems with the artist Peter Doig’s imaginative symbols. “We were looking with Peter Doig at the idea of [the] ceremonial costume and a modern interpretation of it, with a strong focus on tailoring. We looked at French painters, ceremonial dresses and the formality of the couture house, and then really worked on the embellishment on fabrications and knitwear, and the idea of something grand and large,” says Kim Jones, Dior Men’s artistic director.

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For this collection, the embroidery and embellishments, remarkably inspired by the Académie des Beaux-Arts, lend the pieces a masculine touch. Decorations and motifs from the House’s archives are also reinvented. “There are different themes and different areas of Peter’s paintings. We have the ‘lion’ motif, which comes from an outfit made by Pierre Cardin that Christian Dior wore to a masked ball,” the artistic director explains. The painting he is referring to, Dioroar, was made by Doig for the House. In the collection, the lion can be seen on a hand-painted hat, on a blanket and even on custom jewellery. “Then, we have the landscapes and the silhouettes of people which we explored via embroidery, knitwear, jacquards and various fabrications,” he adds.

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Included in the winter 2021-2022 collection is a unique reinterpretation of the Rosella—a haute couture dress designed by Marc Bohan in the Sixties. With this entirely hand-embroidered creation, Kim reaffirms his passion for Dior’s history and his desire to transform iconic pieces into refined, resolutely couture pieces for men. The House and Doig also worked with the British milliner Stephen Jones in creating six stunning hats and two berets. “They are amazing! We can consider them as pieces of art. They have been hand-painted by Peter himself,” Kim enthuses.

With its aim to modernise couture techniques, the House worked on a new version of chiné (warp painting), where the threads of the fabric are printed before the fabric is woven. “This gives a beautiful, diffused look to the artworks. Traditionally [employed] on silk, we experimented with a recycled polyester to move this technique away from ball gowns and toward outerwear and a more modern look,” says Kim.

The colour palette used in this collection is also derived from Doig’s artworks. “We wanted the tailoring to be quite sophisticated and in bright colours; we thought it would be nice to have something that has a sort of regalia feel to it in an interesting way, that formalises it and under- pins it in a sort of historic painting mode,” shares Kim.

We were looking with Peter Doig at the idea of [the] ceremonial costume and a modern interpretation of it, with a strong focus on tailoring
Kim Jones

The Ultimate Dior range, which is a riff on the Lady Dior bag, is recreated in a masculine way for a formal new line. “We have Peter’s wonderful camouflage, there’s a lovely jacquard and then the WWDior bags done in luxurious materials like crocodile. One of the themes this season is the WWDior line, inspired by Peter’s personal style. Using the Dior oblique jacquard and leathers, we adapted the codes, such as the heavyweight stitching and reinforced rivets, fusing them with the existing Dior leather goods codes,” Kim continues. To contrast with the more casual WWDior line, the designers took the iconic Lady Dior and used men’s volumes, following a more modern and formal direction, incorporating tone-on-tone metal pieces and a newly developed leather, which will age and naturally form a patina over time.

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Both lines have complimentary small leather goods options focused on product-specific functions, such as iPhone and Airpods Pro holders. “Continuing the ceremonial references from the ready-to-wear, and inspired by one of Peter’s paintings, we have developed some exceptional pieces, such as a mini-Saddle in full metal and fully-embroidered cannetille gold and silver Saddle bags,” he adds.

Kim admits that there was an instant connection between him and Doig the moment they met. “We have a lot of similar interests. I love Peter because there are so many different facets to his work and life, and I think his laid-back attitude to being completely open to anything is wonderful. I was looking at Peter’s paintings of formal, ceremonial, dressed-up men, which strongly reminded me of Rousseau or French artists of that time, and I thought it really fit with the idea of what we had in mind for the season,” he concludes.

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This story was originally published on Tatler Philippines' September 2021 issue. Download it on Magzter for free.

  • PhotographyJackie Nickerson
  • PhotographyAlfredo Piola
  • PhotographyParinas Mogadassi