Friday 22nd January

| BY Claudia Croft

Dior: Menswear AW21

There’s a very masculine glamour to the pomp of ceremonial military uniforms and a flourish of subversion, too. The Beatles knew it when they borrowed from military regalia for their Sargent Pepper incarnation. And Kim Jones knows it too. Gold braids, dashing trouser stripes, vivid sashes, swinging tassels and bejewelled decorations: the extravagance of ceremonial dress is something that’s denied to most modern men, who are boxed into plain clothes.

With every show, Kim Jones is making the case for masculine finery. The embroidery and embellishments in this collection drew heavily on Dior’s Couture heritage. The covered buttons on military jackets were based on those of the original Bar jacket. The gilded embroidery was lifted from ‘Rosella’, a Couture evening gown designed by Marc Bohan in the sixties.

The collaboration with Scottish-born, Trinidad-based artist Peter Doig brought a vivid sense of colour and artistry to the collection. Doig not only created the animal emblems (of Mr Dior’s dog, Bobby and of a lion) but he worked by hand on several of the hats. How’s that for collector’s items? Prints and patterns including a re-coloured camo print, in sumptuous silk and an intricate rendering of the night sky, directly referenced Doig’s paintings.

The atelier replicated his brushstrokes with embroidery. Yoon Ahn’s jewellery took inspiration from a startling image of Mr Dior at a masked ball in 1949, wearing a remarkable glittering cape over a tailcoat adorned with fringed epaulettes and diamond brooches. It was designed by Dior protégé, Pierre Cardin and brought to mind Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast. The whole thing was vivid, intense and dripping in Couture-level craft. Jones weaves so many references through his work. It is rich indeed.

Photography courtesy of Dior.