For Kim Jones, a collaboration with ERL represents two worlds colliding: “You’ve french excessive vogue on one hand, and an archetypal American universe on the opposite,” he tells Hypebeast. “California Couture” is how these worlds interpret Dior.”
The brand new assortment blends the 2 manufacturers collectively right into a vibrant and appetizing cocktail, with
Jones has developed an actual knack for collaborations – headlined by Louis Vuitton and Supreme’s era-defining link-up again in 2017. The designer has continued to pursue that boundary-blurring mannequin together with his work at Dior. KAWS, Raymond Pettibon, 1017 ALYX 9SM, Yoon Ahn, Hajime Sorayama, Daniel Arsham, Shawn Stussy, Birkenstock and Denim Tears all skilled the Jones therapy. However this partnership with ERL looks like Kim Jones’ most harmonious collaboration thus far.
Home icons just like the Saddle Bag are reinterpreted in a “Gentle Blue Dior Indirect Mirage” water-repellent technical material, updating the basic accent with a Californian breeze. Likewise, the archives are dug as much as reveal ’90s and Y2K references — a gold-toned steel chain belt, a dual-branded intarsia knit funnel neck biking jersey, LuckyDior R1I spherical sun shades in shades of lilac and gold, and the puffy Kumo Cannage satin B9S sneakers designed by ERL for Dior all channel a definite sense of nostalgia, steeped in each the Home and ERL’s iconography.
These sneakers, notably the “Fucshia” and “Black” colorways, are significantly vital. Solely 470 pairs of every have been made, whereas the suede iterations are restricted to 888 pairs every. By doing so, Dior and ERL subvert the codes it attracts inspiration from; the place skateboarding sneakers are sometimes a dime a dozen, these sneakers are ones to be cherished alongside different stand-outs just like the brooches, newspaper print two-pieces, and tailoring necessities.
Elsewhere, California’s surf tradition is represented by waves that enhance numerous items. Bermuda shorts and a heathered cotton fleece hoodie work the curvaceous traces into their construction, whereas mohair in purple and white seems like a splash of sea foam on one other sweater.
To have a good time the launch of the brand new Dior x ERL collaboration, Hypebeast spoke to Kim Jones and Eli Russell Linnetz to seek out out extra about how the colourful assortment got here to life.
Hypebeast: Firstly, Kim, what has fuelled your collaborative course of since you’ve got labored at Dior?
Kim Jones: It’s a chance to work with folks you admire, you want, or who could also be buddies. I believe you study various things, working with totally different folks. That solely strengthens vogue, in a approach.
What does “California Couture” imply to each of you – and the way have you ever explored this collectively?
KJ: “California Couture” was the concept of two worlds coming collectively – the world of french excessive vogue on one hand, and an archetypal American universe on the opposite – and the way these worlds interpret Dior.
ERL: The entire venture started with the knitwear and the sweaters, so the “California Couture” piece actually embodies the entire spirit of the venture. The spirit of Venice Seashore, California is completely current within the assortment and mirrored in every bit. I used to be telling the story of my hometown and I wished to ensure I used to be getting it proper – that the gathering was speaking the essence of my experiences.
How does Christian Dior’s historical past of classic American glamor affect the gathering?
KJ: The “codes of the home” come by way of, however through a special route. The bar jacket, the swimsuit, the pink and the grey are all there. But it surely’s amped up – very like California. It’s the Hollywood pink of Dior. Dior grey, the cannage, and the pink are all amped up.
ERL: Dior represents all of our talents as people to create magnificence and perfection. As somebody who loves costumes and storytelling, going by way of the archives was one in every of my favourite components of the method. Kim gave me full freedom within the archives which had been unimaginable.
Eli was born in 1991. Why was this a pivotal 12 months for the inspiration behind the gathering, and what did you study from it?
KJ: We selected 1991 as a place to begin: the 12 months of Eli’s beginning, and Gianfranco Ferré’s interval as dior’s inventive director. In order that was a contemporary and fruitful exploration of this era archive.
ERL: I selected the 12 months I used to be born as a place to begin which was the period of Gianfranco Ferré. I used to be shocked by the complexity and intricacy of his designs – so sculptural and architectural. So totally different from the opposite designers of that very same time – his work was so maximalist which was very totally different from what I used to be exploring with ERL on the time. His work within the archive was comparatively untouched which was intriguing to me and he additionally by no means studied vogue formally which resonated with me – my background is in screenwriting and stage design.
Why was now the time to come back collectively?
KJ: I’ve been at Dior for greater than 4 years – though it does really feel for much longer – and it simply felt like the precise time to do one thing like this, significantly after the Winter 2022 present. On the floor, they appear like very totally different collections, however they’re each actually a couple of sure type of cross-generational dialog in vogue, of an thought of legacy and the which means of Dior.
ERL: The venture was so natural and genuine. Kim has such a deep understanding of the inventive course of and find out how to let one thing dwell free and develop – whereas sustaining the codes of the home. It’s not simply me and Kim within the room – it’s all of those that got here earlier than and the glory they upheld. It was a very lovely give up of two homes coming collectively and letting instinct information us. The work was by no means compelled and we by no means questioned one another – it was pure pleasure – and I’m so grateful for the chance to have labored with Kim.
How did you design a set that captures each manufacturers so properly?
KJ: We’ve got labored with plenty of totally different folks on our collections, however this time I wished to work with somebody differently. I wished anyone to see Dior from a special angle. Not solely do I actually like Eli Russell Linnetz’s work, however working with a youthful designer on Dior and seeing issues from his perspective felt extremely inspiring. It was each acquainted and revelatory, reaffirming why we each dreamed about working in vogue within the first place.
ERL: Kim and I are two artists who’ve mutual respect for one another’s work and he actually gave me a lot freedom. I inform tales by way of the garments I’m making. He was so beneficiant and actually gave me a platform the place collectively we might share concepts and create with our instinct. No second guessing in any respect. It was very releasing, and Kim and Dior have so many sources to inform a a lot bigger narrative and discover strategies and ideas I haven’t been in a position to discover by myself.
And what do you hope the gathering will don’t only for each manufacturers, however for the patron too?
KJ: I actually hope there shall be an enormous pleasure for the launch of this assortment!
ERL: My hopes for the gathering are that it’ll join with folks and introduce them to the world that I’m creating – exploring my recollections and fantasies of the previous and of the longer term.
Dior x ERL Spring 2023 might be seen within the gallery above and bought on-line, at Dior boutiques, and through Dover Road Market London now.