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All the inspirations behind Dior's first show in Miami

Genealogy of a style

All the inspirations behind Dior's first show in Miami Genealogy of a style

The Dior Pre-Fall 2020 show in Miami was one of the most anticipated, admired and discussed of the year. The two main driving forces of the cultural buzz that surrounded the debut of the collection designed by Kim Jones were the highly anticipated collaborations with Jordan and Shawn Stussy. But the entire show was, as always happens when Jones is involved, an all-round aesthetic experience that has mixed a series of different influences and inspirations to create a unique mood in its own right.

The entire collection with everything that revolved around it found its foundations in the style of Kim Jones. One of its hallmarks is the mixing of high and low or, in technical terms, contamination. As happened in the past with Kaws' ironic pop art and Sorayama's chrome fantasies, the "low" style with which to contaminate Dior's "high" heritage was that of Shawn Stussy. And you can't talk about Stussy's style without talking about California's surf culture, its psychedelia and its tropical imagery and its tiki patterns. Surfing was the stylistic backdrop of the show. The venue that hosted the event had a curved ceiling that resembled the movement of a wave, the "wavy print" designed by Stussy covered walls and floors as well as dominating the graphic apparatus of the looks themselves. The tropical and marine world of surfers has also been dominant in the color palette: the blue of the ocean, the red and yellow of the exotic flora, the green of the sea floor and the camel of the sand. Even the pleated silk of some garments was a nod to the corduroy popular with surfers of the 1970s. In an interview Jones said:

“ I like that thing Diana Vreeland said about surfers and skaters, that water is a tranquilizer and surfers are the best thing in the world because they ride it and they live it”.

The "twin" inspiration to that of The California surfers of the West Coast, was the one that recalls the colorful and hedonistic aesthetic of Florida and its hypersaturated sunsets. Miami is the city of Spring Break, of decadent 80s opulence, Cuban influences, of the unforgettable Miami Vice with its muffled atmospheres and ocean scenery. The pastel and neon colors seen in the collection are inspired by those of Cuban architecture, as well as the row of vintage cars at the entrance to the venue and the floral references to plumerie and hibiscus, either printed or embroidered for knitwear and shirts, both as artificial boquets decorating jackets and hats and made by Stephen Jones. Another reference to the excesses of Miami's nightlife were the most eye-catching materials such as silks, python eco-leather, especially in the saddle bag and a pair of trousers, and the chrome and metallic details. On the same trend also the shoes, starting from the Dior x Nike Air Jordan 1, all more oriented to leisurewear and sportswear. From the show's photo leaks, the first clear photos of a version of the B23 sneakers decorated with Stussy's artwork have also emerged.

But of course Jones couldn't ignore the heritage of Dior, which with its 73-year history is one of the richest and most stratified that exists. A detail that, symbolically, speaks of how the aesthetic heritage of the maison relates to the new influences is in the floral language: in the bouquets that decorated the clothes, tropical flowers were mixed with the lilies-of-the-valley. The lily-of-the-valley was Christian Dior's favorite flower, from which the designer drew inspiration and which he mentioned many times in his creations and in particular in the Spring '54 collection. In particular, Jones associated the opulence of Miami that he wanted to evoke with the collections designed for Dior by Yves Saint Laurent in the 1950s. Another presence of the classic Dior style was the use of the Dior Gris color, a shade of gray that decorated the original boutique of the brand and that was reproposed, for example, on the Dior x Nike Air Jordan 1.

Between quote and deconstruction, Dior's Pre-Fall 2020 show was one of this year's best. A tour de force of different styles and aesthetics that have carried on the language of the brand, mixing pop and haute couture inspirations and generating in the public and in the media the kind of frenetic attention that only the big events can arouse.