Before the coronavirus pandemic placed the world on hold, baggy streetwear and flared trousers were steadily creeping across high fashion’s imagination. During this time, Travis Scott was also making his own fashion ambitions known to the world with sellout Cactus Jack merchandise drops and multi-million dollar brand collaborations. 2022 menswear collection Cactus Jack Dior sees designer Kim Jones and Travis Scott bring a loose fitting feel to the venerable Parisian fashion house.
Here comes the cosmic cowboy
Beneath the collection’s trippy hippy aesthetic sits the notion of the cowboy. This is an enduring myth in the fashion world. The cowboy, Ralph Lauren once shared, is the last of a dying breed. He is someone standing against the forces of paralysis and decay. In a word, ‘cowboy’ expresses freedom. Fashion has always been a powerful tool of self-expression. Christian Dior, founder of the Dior empire, like Travis Scott, built his reputation on a rebellious attitude toward design.
This lime green trench coat serves as a striking centrepiece to the collection
Dior goes slime green
The most eye-catching of all the collection’s items come in the colour of slime green. As Tom Ford‘s black fashion pieces dominated the adult world in the 1990s, a generation below them was being indoctrinated to the possibilities of fluorescent green through the Goosebumps horror franchise. The striking green motif threads its way throughout this collection alongside browns, light purples, jet blacks, whites and pastel pinks. Green of this kind is a common sight in hip hop and pop. Whether it will have long-term staying power in the fashion world – fluorescent green is, after all, symbolic of death – remains to be seen.
The cactus and desert motif recur across a number of Scott’s creative projects
Cactus Jack Dior is surprisingly chic
Those looking for long term addition to their wardrobes will find more purchase in the collection’s blacks, whites, pinks, purples and earthy browns. Scott’s own outfit, shown during Dior’s Paris Fashion Week runway event, embodies the functional dimension of the collection. It shows how the stylish man might chicly incorporate an outsized outfit into a more formal setting.
Travis Scott and Kim Jones remould the male archetype
Kim Jones, along with Scott, craft the idea of a new and softer male aesthetic. The designs still retain some of the utility and strength of the male archetype. The Cactus Jack Dior men’s collection celebrates the rebellious energy and be-yourself-attitude common to fashion and rap alike. It projects freedom, innovation and confidence.
Model Charlie Heaton showcases a smart yet casual side to the Cactus Jack Dior collection
Final thoughts on Travis Scott and Dior’s 2022 collection
We live in an era where high fashion designers consider how clothing looks on screen as equally important to how it looks on a shelf. This collection’s augmented reality backdrop takes this design sense one step further to create an entire fantasy world to accompany its outfits. Both a homage to Scott’s Texan heritage and celebrated Fortnite virtual concert it also evokes the Dior family garden. Scott’s digital dream world translates comfortably to the spectacle of a luxury runway setting.
There can be no question about it. Scott’s celebrity and the dazzling presentation of the collection do add a certain wow factor. However, this does not detract from the wearability of these pieces. The meeting of the elemental currents of Scott, Kim and the spirit in which Dior once created to strike an agreeable balance point.
What comes next
Following the success of Gucci‘s bold embrace of street and camp, much of the fashion world has been clamouring to catch up. The rocketing sales of mass consumer brands Nike and Adidas have further challenged traditional fashion’s once-eminent monopoly on taste and aristocratic elitism. Since taking control in 2018 Kim Jones has navigated this changing landscape.
With this latest collection, Jones and Dior continue the arms race to modernize at all costs. Cactus Jack Dior casts an eye toward the augmented reality of the post-pandemic world. In doing so it delivers a men’s clothing line capable of living up to the aspirations and ambitions of the fashionable dresser of 2022.
Travis Scott and Dior's 'Cactus Jack Dior' 2022 collection8
Slime green? Not for everyone
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