Egypt’s potential to have the global spotlight turned to its fashion ecosystem and cultural offerings has never been more prominent. After a number of exciting events and developments this year such as Art D’Egypte and the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum, the country played host to the Dior Men Fall 2023 show tonight, staged by the Pyramids of Giza nonetheless. Seated front row were stars, Dior ambassadors, and close friends of the house who flew in from around the world for the collection’s unveiling in Cairo.
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This included The Batman star Robert Pattinson, Formula 1 racer Lewis Hamilton, model and former cover star Younes Bendjima, South Korean actor Cha Eun Woo, The Crown actor Amir El Masry, Tunisian star Dhafer L’Abidine, Aladdin actor Mena Massoud, Get Out actor Daniel Kaluuya and more.
For artistic director Kim Jones, the collection titled ‘Celestial’ was all about creating a dialogue between the past and the future, drawing on humanity’s study of objects light years away, and Christian Dior’s love for heavenly bodies. “My interest in ancient Egypt is about the stars and the sky,” Jones writes in his show notes. “It’s that fascination with the ancient world and the parallels with what we look at today; what we inherited from them and what we are still learning from the past. It links to Christian Dior in that sense and by way of his fascination with symbols and superstitions that recur throughout his life and work, one of which is the star.” And so, Jones lit up the historical marvel of the Great Pyramids with laser beams and brought them to the future as not only a priceless backdrop to his creations but also in a subtle nod to the myth of ancient astronauts. “In both the collection and the show there is an idea of ‘guided by the stars’ and what that can entail in many ways. It’s about how the past shapes the future or an idea of the future from the past,” he states.
The chilly wind of Cairo’s desert picked up just as models wearing billowing capes and jackets emerged from the dune-shaped runway to thumping electronic music. Resembling the wardrobes of both, space rangers and desert warriors with style, pieces came with protective layers and utilitarian details as “futuristic armor”, showcasing today’s technical know-how coupled with the principles of tailoring and couture in Dior’s past. Alongside outerwear, accessories were also key to the collection, with models wearing helmet-like headpieces, moon boots, vests, and mesh masks attached to shirts. The color palette embraced the subtle shades of the desert with a few pops of brights hues, while a series of multi-colored galaxy prints on jackets and coats ended the show.
With the towering pyramids being the only radiant structures in the stretch of the dark desert, and the clothing celebrating the supposed link between ancient and extra-terrestrial, both, the show and the collection felt out of this world.