Dior offers laid-back style on a feline cat-walk

Dior offers laid-back style on a feline cat-walk

Cats inspired by artist Hylton Nel on the catwalk for Dior
Cats inspired by artist Hylton Nel on the catwalk for Dior. Photo: GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP
Source: AFP

Dior offered a more light-hearted collection featuring giant cats at Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday, with designer Kim Jones telling AFP he wanted to counter the gloomy world atmosphere.

The big cartoon cats that dotted the runway for the menswear collection were inspired by South African ceramicist Hylton Nel, a favourite of Jones, an avid art collector.

Nel's artwork popped up as prints on several outfits, which overall had a more laid-back vibe than recent Dior collections, with baggy trousers and shorts, and loose rounded silhouettes on the work coats and suits.

Many were topped with "cloche" -- or bell-style -- hats made by South African artisans, and scarf-like collars based on drawings made by Yves Saint-Laurent when he worked for Dior in 1960.

Cloche hats by South African artisans
Cloche hats by South African artisans. Photo: Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT / AFP
Source: AFP

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"There's an ease to this collection. The last two seasons have been quite structured, and every three seasons I like to flip things a bit," Jones told AFP.

"It's still the Dior DNA and still the idea of pulling things from the archive, but playing around with it a bit."

The Kate Bush soundtrack and soft lighting emphasised the summery palette of pastel yellows, greens and blues.

"I think about the whole concept, how it gets seen as a whole. I work backwards: music, set, clothes," said Jones.

Dior made a splash with its much-imitated men's dance slippers last season.

This season, Jones reworked that most traditional of working shoe -- the clog -- reimagined in beech wood and calf leather, and modified with rubber soles.

Luxury Dior-style clogs
Luxury Dior-style clogs. Photo: Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT / AFP
Source: AFP

The collection had "a softness and a poetic feel," said Simon Longland, head of buying for London department store Harrods.

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"There was a sense of ease and grace to the collection," he added, highlighting "the soft boxy coats and beautiful fluid trousers".

Jones has a no-nonsense way of talking about his job that emphasises the fact he is flogging clothes -- surprisingly rare in the fashion world.

He told AFP he had to cancel the couture show for his other job as creative director of Fendi to focus on its 100th anniversary next year.

"You have to make decisions: do customers get their dresses or do we do a show?" he said.

"I thought better to make them their dresses and keep them buying."

Source: AFP

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