Fun fact: Before establishing his couture house in 1946, Christian Dior first worked as a gallerist and collector of art. Against his parent’s advice, at 23 years old Dior entered the art world as the business partner of Jacques Bonjean, working for his eponymous gallery. Situated a stone’s throw from the Champs-Élysé, just down from Picasso’s studio and the residences of art dealers Paul Rosenberg and Nathan Wildenstein, the gallery exhibited the works of artists including Salvador Dalí, Georges Braque, Giorgio de Chirico, Alberto Giacometti and Raoul Dufy. It is in tribute to this epoch of Dior’s life, and a continuation of his own love affair with the art world, that men’s artistic director Kim Jones’s AW19 campaign pays tribute.
Continuing his ongoing collaboration with photographer Steven Meisel, the AW19 collection is backgrounded by painterly artworks hanging in a space inspired by the atelier of Raymond Pettibon, a defining figure of the 1970s southern Californian punk rock scene. His older brother was the guitarist and songwriter Greg Ginn the founder of the punk rock band Black Flag, for whom Pettibon designed their iconic four bag logo, as well as the cover art for Sonic Youth’s 1990 album Goo.
“We selected some of our favourite pieces of Raymond’s work which had never been seen or shown before because they were things I loved,” explains Jones. Works by Pettibon also appear on pieces created in collaboration with the American artist, including a sweater featuring a face, which at a glance holds the resemblance of the Mona Lisa, and a leopard and panther print (a subtle hint to Jones’s love of animals and the Dior founder’s debut collection). In addition, Pettibon leant his hand to the Dior logo which he has calligraphically rendered in strokes of flowing black ink, which in turn were realised into jewellery by Yoon Ahn of Ambush. Rock on.
by Helena Fletcher