WEST LONDON: Ahead of unveiling his Fall/Winter 2022 collection for Dior Men on Thursday night in London—the first time in 74 years the mens’ section of Dior hasn’t presented its new collection in Paris—creative director Kim Jones enlisted the likes of Burna Boy, Tom Daley, Lila Moss and Nicolas Maury to read excerpts of Jack Kerouac’s famous 1957 novel On The Road.
In clips released to Instagram, the group gave us a preview of the house’s latest line, though, in an effort not to spoil the night’s scheduled reveal taking place in West London, most were shot from the waist up, giving glimpses of eclectic knit jumpers, colourful ties and sparkle-collared shirts. The book they were reading—widely considered a defining work of the postwar counterculture generations—did however reveal the inspiration behind Jones’ new designs: the social and literary movement of the Beat Generation that came to prominence in the United States in the 1950s.
Later that evening, guests, including Naomi Campbell and Sam Smith, braved London’s brisk temperatures, arriving at the spacious Kensington Olympia Exhibition Centre to find a sprawling show set inspired by the 120-foot scroll that Kerouac used to write On the Road.
Models walked the runway with words from Kerouac’s novel lining every inch of the floor as a recording of Robert Pattinson reciting lines from Kerouac’s works played as part of the soundtrack. But the set didn’t finish there. Also present in the space was a museum-grade exhibition made up of personal letters by the author and his friends, family and colleagues, as well as a collection of Kerouac’s books, manuscripts and memorabilia for the show. Following the runway presentation, guests were invited to explore, champagne in hand.
The surprise location holds a special significance to Jones, who was born in London and still resides there today, though this marks the first fashion show he’s held in his home since 2003. The city also houses the prestigious Central Saint Martins fashion school where Jones graduated from in 2002. A number of students and previous Central Saint Martins emerging young designers were invited to view the Dior show firsthand by Jones.
Despite the aforementioned chill in the air—and the collection being one made for autumn and winter—the first look sent down the Dior runway was made up of a pair of above the knee shorts, which were later joined by bright yellow iterations, immediately setting the tone for the collection to follow. The warm weather additions were offset by sparkly beanies that wouldn’t be amiss on the ski slopes in the ‘50s, oversized jumpers—some with slogans and others in festive colours and embellishments—and cardigans, such as this purple one with a pin loosely fastening it together in the middle.
Shiny trousers with a metallic look were a main feature on the runway, as were hints of silver sparkles and pink sequins poking through on shirts, adding a playful and youthful vibe, which runs true to Jones’ inspiration. Throughout the undeniably fun collection were ties and preppy pieces, such as tartan trousers and blazers, with many well-tailored jackets sure to make up the wardrobes of the Dior customer come next winter.
Peruse the runway below.