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What went down at Kim Jones’ Kerouac-inspired Dior homecoming

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The designer returned to London for his AW22 show

It’s been a long time since Kim Jones showed in London. The designer might have found his feet in the city, as Lulu Kennedy took him under her Fashion East wing, but he soon switched up chaotic warehouse shows for the bright lights of Paris, where he dropped collections for Louis Vuitton, Miami, where he landed to debut his Pre-Fall Dior line in late 2019, and most recently, Milan, where he joined forces with Silvia Venturini Fendi to lead the Italian fashion house. Last night, however, Jones returned to the capital to present his AW22 menswear show for Dior. Here’s everything you need to know.

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THE FROW WAS A WHO’S WHO OF COOL LONDONERS

From legendary nightlife figure Princess Julia and Naomi Campbell, to the city’s new-gen, including I May Destroy You’s Paapa Essiedu, End of the Fucking World’s Alex Lawther, rapper AJ  Tracey, and rising model Ms. Lila Grace Moss, Jones’ front row was as ram-packed with VIPs as ever. And with everyone decked out in head-to-toe Dior lewks, it was clear his team had had their hands full in the lead up to the big momenté.

THE INVITE OFFERED A CLUE AS TO THE COLLECTION’S INSPO

Across the course of the last week, the show’s invite did the rounds on social media. A chic brown leather wallet was emblazoned with first edition illustrations from Jack Kerouac novels Visions of Cody and On The Road – a mainstay of softbois’ bookshelves the world over, and which sold “A trillion Levi’s, and a million espresso machines,” according to Kerouac’s contemporary, William Burroughs. 

THE CATWALK TOLD A STORY (THE STORY, IN FACT)

Rolled out at the beginning of the show like an enormous, endless carpet, the catwalk was actually a 36 metre-long recreation of Kerouac’s OG On The Road manuscript. With Christian Dior himself inspired by literature – and similarly tearing things up in fashion while Kerouac and his cohorts were making waves with their words, the whole thing was “A celebration of ceaseless imagination”, and got the seal of approval from Kerouac’s estate. 

THE LOOK WAS BEAT POET, BUT MAKE IT 2022

Dressed in Levi’s, white tees, and thick-rimmed glasses, the Beat Poets defined bookish style for generations to come – because honestly, who resist the lure of a Breton top? For AW22, Jones’ tapped into the aesthetic’s core and Dior-ified it for a new audience. Lean, bespectacled boys made their way down the runway in boxy plaid blazers matched with loose-leg wool trousers, homespun, sequin-dotted sweaters and panelled, worn-in denim jeans, and tees emblazoned with photographs of Kerouac. 

Elsewhere, crisp shirts depicting the illustrations seen on the invite were paired with blowsy nylon shorts, coated leather jackets, and velvet trousers. More contemporary flourishes came by way of collegiate-style football jerseys layered over long-sleeved tees, and neat sweatshirts splattered with the writer’s prose or the Dior logo. Accessories-wise, the Saddle bag is ever present, this season joined by book carrier-cum-iPhone cases, and bulky, nylon-trimmed leather carry-alls – presumably for those who themselves live life on the road. 

Click through the gallery above to see it.