If there is a place on Earth that epitomises the depths of history, art and luxury in the foreground of futuristic thinking, it’s Egypt. From its rich cultural heritage to exquisite heirlooms, architecture and cuisine, Cairo still retains its status as a must-visit destination, dripping with the opulence of adventures and endless mysteries to uncover.
So, it’s no coincidence that Dior Men’s artistic director Kim Jones chose the last remaining ancient wonders of the world—the Pyramids of Giza—as the empyrean exclamation points to the statement that was his fall 2023 collection, showcased in December 2022. Those familiar with Jones’ career repertoire would know that the designer often takes inspiration from his formative childhood years in Africa—namely in Botswana, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya—and has cited the continent as a key source of many of his artistic inspirations. This collection was no different. With over 300 members of the press in attendance from cities including Miami, London, Tokyo, and Singapore, as well as a star-studded line-up of fashion icons and celebrities including Robert Pattinson, Suki Waterhouse, Naomi Campbell,Lewis Hamilton, Cha Eun-woo and Sehun, this show was always set to be extraordinary.
The runway appeared to be an ode to the sci-fi space-age—a portal-like experience designed to transport you to a realm where history had once occurred (undeniable by the sheer stature and dimensions of the pyramids themselves), but the future is still unraveling. The Great Pyramid as well as the Pyramids of Menkaure and Khafre came alive under the starry skies, illuminated by klieg lights that extended so far into the sky you wouldn’t be remiss for not knowing where their beacons ended and where the stars began. It’s said that when building this experience, Jones was partly inspired by a re-envisioning of Frank Herbert’s Dune. The aim was to take the audience to a magnificent, mystical and desert-like world, teetering between the illusionistic lines of past, present, and tomorrow. Mission well-accomplished.
As for the collection itself: a passionate homage that encircled Christian Dior’s own fascination and never-ending curiosity for the stars and astrology; as well as the melding of history with modernity. There were nods aplenty to Dior’s archival elements. The colours boasted sandy shades of the deserts (not unlike that of the ground surrounding the runway itself), grading in shades from cream to yellow to fiery orange to beige to the classic and memorable Dior grey and space-black. Fabrics including tulle and quilt were reimagined, re-engineered and reprinted to bring innovation and a sense of technological evolution to the traditional savoir-faire of Dior’s well-established elegance.
From the infamous scalloped and embroidered Junon gown to the skirt-like shendyt, worn by the richest of royalty (think Pharaohs and the like), no stone was left unturned. Dior’s haute couture gowns transformed into glamorous, decorative menswear; and ancient Egyptian garb into modern streetwear-inspired skirt-over-pant looks. With 75 models to mark 75 years of the house’s founding, the focus was also very much on what’s to come next. The addition of technical elements like 3D-printed helmets, body armour and boots that look optimised for stomping around on the moon, served as symbols of futuristic exploration. Combined with the tailored silhouettes synonymous with Dior, Jones’ has created a collection of easeful, pragmatic elegance—for both on and off the runway.
Dior Men’s fall 2023 truly is a moment in time, albeit an illusion: reminiscent of a future yet to be uncovered and vastly imagined, with a respectful bow to the wisdom of times passed, cherished and very much, unforgotten.
The issue of Vogue Man Singapore is available for sale online and in bookstores now.