Sita Abellan arrives for Dior Menswear ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2024-2025 collection presented in Paris, Friday, Jan. 19, 2024 Source: AP Photo/Christophe Ena

Dior Puts on a Daytime Fashion Ballet under the Parisian Stars

Thomas Adamson READ TIME: 4 MIN.

Dior's menswear maestro Kim Jones transformed a sunny afternoon in Paris into a starlit evening of balletic grandeur at Paris Fashion Week, in a display of fashion theatrics.

Inspired by the legendary ballet icons Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, Jones delivered an exuberant spectacle at the Ecole Militaire annex on Friday.

Amid the haunting melodies of Sergei Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet," the collection intertwined Dior's fine tailoring with a joyful explosion of theatrical glamour. It drew screams and cheers from a VIP audience – as it explored the duality of an artist's persona onstage and backstage.

Here are some highlights of the fall-winter 2024 men's shows:

A model wears a creation for Dior as part of the Menswear ready-to-wear Fall-Winter 2024-2025 collection presented in Paris, Friday, Jan. 19, 2024
Source: AP Photo/Christophe Ena

Dior's Ballet Stars

In a front row as starry as the simulated night sky above, luminaries like Lewis Hamilton, Bill Nighy, Kate Moss, Nicholas Hoult, Rita Ora, Princess Eugenie and Pharrell Williams witnessed a fashion ballet that transcended the traditional runway. Their presence underscored the collection's appeal to a diverse audience, from royalty to pop culture icons.

Jones' mastery in blending traditional codes with modernity was evident. Muted beiges and grays, signature to Dior's palette, were enlivened with exuberant bursts of color – saffron yellow socks, lilac blue sandals, and handbags, and vividly striped sweaters.

The pieces de resistance included a gleaming Renaissance cape-shawl with silver scallop fringe and woolen coats reinvented with double sleeves, cascading down poetically.

Echoing Jones' own words, "The collection, or rather collections, are about contrast: the contrasts in the House of Dior in terms of ready-to-wear and haute couture. It's the difference between onstage and backstage; the life of Nureyev theatrically and in reality."

This sentiment was captured in contrasts between the subdued tones and tailoring of the first half of the show and the shimmer, gleam and sparkle that dominated the latter part in a dazzling crescendo.

The collection verged on the encyclopedic. A silver Uchikake kimono paid homage to Nureyev's lavish style. Alongside this were modern silhouettes – sleek trousers and ribbed knits, each a testament to Jones' contemporary flair.

As the show culminated, the audience was left half in awe and half grappling for their cameras as the neon stage rose up like a sci-fi movie carrying the models into the air. Thus it melded styles from the past with a futuristic, space-age edge.

by Thomas Adamson

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