Kim Jones’s Dior Men alighted, super-saturated, in Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood last night. (“Allapattah,” to note, is the Indigenous American Seminole tribe’s word for “alligator.”)
The pre-fall 2020 show was hosted at the brand new Rubell Museum complex, one of two major collections owned by Miami-based families to relocate, quite recently, to the enclave. Many in Miami think Allapattah is—for better or worse—destined to become the next version of Wynwood, a zone just to the east that was once a warehouse-filled grid but is now far glossier, with expensive haircuts, expensive meals, and expensive craft beers aplenty.
Jones’s guys arrived as a ribbon of cyber-surfer aesthetes, styled full tilt, hitting some future city-beach (when the ocean is a little higher, the city a little smaller). They walked through a mock barreling wave, painted in a yellow-green-blue fade meant to evoke sunset light.
Since his appointment to the head of Dior’s men’s branch 18 months ago, Jones’s runway track record has always added up to something greater than its parts. It is one of his standout and strongest gifts as a designer: this ability to create buzz and a resultant sort of universe each season, only to run with it full sprint into the next. The Miami show absolutely reached the sum those parts—but it did not exceed them.
Two notable collaborations were revealed: one with surf style pioneer Shawn Stussy, brought out of retirement (and rendered independently of the Stüssy company), and another with Nike’s Air Jordan sneaker (the swoosh now filled in with Dior’s monogram). Stussy reimagined his signature naif handwriting across many of the clothes, most memorably with a knitted tee that read “I WANT TO SHOCK THE WORLD WITH DIOR.” A pen-stroke “Dior” appeared on bucket hats, designed by Stephen Jones, socks and tote bags.
Accessories are where Jones and co. reached their highest marks. There were dozens of options (seemingly more than ever), from saddle bags in techno-python textures to camera bags with Dior’s monogram to those aforementioned hats (best in show). Also notable was the colorful knitwear, such as the opening look’s jumper, which boasted a muted neon “Dior” intarsia motif, or outsized hoodies, also with intarsia, depicting frangipani bouquets. As were intermittent instances of tailoring, razor-sharp and couture-esque, as always.
Jones has made a name for himself as someone who deftly spans the high-low bridge, and as an eager and open collaborator, particularly within the art world. These traits were evident last night, but one was left wanting for a bit more of a Miamian presence, given Jones’s location of choice. (Stussy is Californian, and Nike is based in Oregon.)
It makes sense to show during Art Basel, when a great many of the art and fashion world’s starriest names are in town, but to have reached that soaring synergy for which he is so known, Jones may have benefitted by scaling back a bit on the big splashes while, instead, honing in on a more nuanced local focus.