Dior Spring '25 Is a Convergence of Artistic Mediums

a group of people standing on a stage with cartoon characters
Dior SS25 Is a Convergence Of Artistic MediumsDior

Upon walking into Paris’s Val-de-Grâce, guests at the Dior spring/summer ’25 show may have mistaken the setting for a ceramics fair. Dotted across the catwalk were monolithic versions of cat sculptures by South African artist Hylton Nel, the newest collaborator to work with Kim Jones and the French maison, as well as being a key inspiration for the collection.

Jones has been a friend of Nel for a long time, shown on the catwalk via a ceramic from the designer’s personal art collection, tucked onto the nook of the opening model’s arm. Then there's the “Dior for my real friends”-printed knit, a tongue-in-cheek nod to Francis Bacon’s famed pun that features on a plate gifted to the artist from Jones.

“There is always a sense of biography when it comes to the house, that of Christian Dior and the succession of designers, here combined with the life of the ceramicist Hylton Nel,” says Jones in the show notes. “This collection is a celebration of work and an expression of who somebody is and what they achieve through work, that legacy and continuity through time. In the case of Christian Dior, Hylton Nel, and myself, it’s an idea of parallel paths with different stories.”

Nel’s influence also comes in the form of his animal sketches printed upon socks, while studded outlines found on outerwear, boots, and badges were made in collaboration with the artist. They’re playful and kitsch, and in tandem with Jones’ knack for unpretentious silhouettes—from workwear to tailoring—give the collection a refined eclecticism. It’s the type of uniform a successful aesthete who loves the straight lines of Luis Barragan architecture as well as the surrealism of anime would happily wear.

Utility jackets have contrasting pastel collars, while a wrap-around detail on trousers emulates a skirt overlay. Knits featuring Nel’s drawings will no-doubt be adopted by the streetwear crowd for their eye-catching designs. And this season, tailoring harks to archival haute couture, while a coat is directly inspired by an unreleased Saint Laurent sketch for the autumn/winter ’58 season.

Jones is at his best when he plays with the duality of sophisticated clothes that aren’t worn too seriously. In this collection, a trench-turned-cape is styled with dog-printed transparent socks and chunky trainers. Cloche hats—designed by Stephen Jones and South African company Earth Age—have beads hanging from the brim. A darling sunflower-print jacket is paired with pleated suit trousers and a teeny saddle bag, while office-appropriate tailoring is topped with a ceramic scarf-collar that’s taken artisans months to make.

Even the show’s soundtrack tapped into the idea of serious-meets-silly. A live recording of Kate Bush’s Cloudbusting, a song about the relationship between psychologist and philosopher Wilhelm Reich and his son Peter, played on repeat as if it was a soundtrack restarting its loop on TikTok—the same platform that brought the artist back into the zeitgeist and introduced a new generation to her music.

In the press release, Jones says that what joins him, Christian Dior, and Nel together is “an idea of and dedication to art and the applied arts,” despite the different mediums they use. For Nel, that’s clay; for the past and present Dior creative directors, it’s clothes. Yet as this collection shows, their convergence is equally as captivating.

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