The past week was an exercise in keeping up with the [Kim] Jones’–collaborations, that is.
From Venice Beach to Beverly Hills the creative director of both Dior Men and Fendi took over the Los Angeles County fashion scene by style storm: A tale of two cities and brand identities: The Dior Men and ERL Resort 2023 runway show and the Beverly Hills Fendace pop-up. Ahead, I’ll break it all down for you.
Dior Men and ERL Runway Show on Venice Boulevard
Dior Men’s Kim Jones’ came to ERL’s backyard of Venice Beach, and gave it a temporary remodel. An ocean blue carpeted runway was commissioned, just steps away from the Pacific Ocean itself on Venice Boulevard. Under the pitch black sky, the Palm trees of the beach loomed in the background, a hangout for members of the West Coast skateboard community, tourists, and residents from Santa Monica and Malibu looking for something a little bit more laid back (I was one of those Pepperdine students that dipped my toe into the Venice Beach lifestyle on First Friday’s). It’s also where designer, Eli Russell Linnetz grew up and set up his fashion studio, ERL.
Dior may seem worlds away from Venice Beach, resting under the LVMH luxury fashion umbrella, but for Creative Director of the brand, Kim Jones, partnering with an American streetwear label is a tried and true combination. After all, Jones was Louis Vuitton menswear’s designer when LV collaborated with Supreme, for a limited edition collection back in 2017. Joining forces with ERL wasn’t just fresh for Dior homme, but a natural progression, as Linnetz is one of the eight finalists of the 2022 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers.
If you need a refresh on ERL’s American fashion resume, look no further than A$AP Rocky’s quilted look for In America: A Lexicon of Fashion (The 2021 Met Gala). The fellow USC Graduate (Fight on!) got his degree in Writing for Film and Television, but now, he tells the stories of Venice’s skateboard culture. His platform for those narratives: celebrities like Justin and Hailey Bieber. Thursday night, the man-made runway below the unmissable “Venice” sign with “Dior” added below it, became Linnetz’s printing press, churning pages and pages of looks, straight out of a ‘90s men’s fashion catalog with a 2020’s twist.
While catching the show, I took note of the British schoolboy sports jackets, mixed with beach-style Bermuda jeans shorts. That night, I noticed fucshia being cemented as a men’s trend, as it now is in womenswear: Jones and Linnetz printing a pink tie-dye with abstract images of skaters on a button-down shirt. Then there were the tinsel-like sweaters in turquoise ombre and burgundy. A head-nod to Venice’s neighbor, Tinseltown, perhaps? Celebrities in the audience of the show, like Dan Levy, Kid Cudi and Brooklyn Beckham could only surmise.
Fendace (Versace by Fendi)
The Pre-Fall 2022 Versace by Fendi collection finally became available to the public in the form of brick and mortar. Well, maybe “brick” doesn’t paint the picture of over-the-top luxury for you.
The pop up collection created by Kim Jones, Silvia Venturini Fendi of Fendi, and Donatella Versace was a tiny but mighty draw: The gilded fleur de lis on a pink backdrop was unmissable, even in a sea of flashy shops on Rodeo Drive. The belly of the bubblegum beast was just as opulent: matching silk top and trouser sets that looked like the floors of the Versace mansion in Miami, if they were tiled in the “F” for Fendi. While, I enjoyed the to-the-max, maximalism, I gravitated toward one of the more minimalistic pieces: a skin-tight black dress with cutouts, held together by giant gold Fendace safety pins, as seen on model Kristen McMenamy in the original runway show back in 2021.
That catwalk was star-studded with models as legendary as the Medusa emblem itself: Kate Moss and Amber Valetta in fleur de lis bomber jackets, and Emily Ratajowski in a slinky crop top and a matching low-rise brass skirt. Seeing those pieces on the rack of the pop-up boutique was surreal.
A Final Note:
From Gucci’s Love Parade runway show on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame, to the Dior x ERL’s style spectacle on Venice Boulevard: the lure of Los Angeles to European brands is evident (let’s not forget previous Dior’s Resort 2018 showing in Malibu or even Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2023 showing at the Salk Institute in San Diego this month). A whole community of the influencers and stars who wear these clothes live on our coast, making this genesis of Los Angeles becoming a fashion capital, a long time coming.
Follow along for part two, where I’ll go into more detail about my outfits for both events.
Keeping it Krischic,
Photos collaborated with Mari Makatsaria of Marigoround.com.