The Beat Generation was a movement in the 1950s where young people rejected conventional society, embracing instead modern jazz artists like Billie Holiday, Eastern meditative religions, free sexuality, and let’s just say, psychoactive substances for their medicinal and “creative” properties.

It began as a literary movement by a group of pioneering authors such as Jack Kerouac, whose work explored and influenced American culture and politics in the post-war era. Kerouac is the latest artist to join Kim Jones’ retinue of eccentrics for Dior such as Kaws, Daniel Arsham, Peter Doig, and Amoako Boafo, inspiring a tight, aesthetically cohesive, culturally artistic autumn/winter 2022 collection.

Around the time that Kerouac was writing his seminal book, Christian Dior was re-shaping the post-World War II fashion landscape, quickly becoming the most influential fashion designer of the late 1940s and 1950s. As tribute to the author’s original manuscript, creative director Jones made his muse tacitly clear with reams of Kerouac’s writing, serving as backdrop to the show of graphic tops displaying Kerouac’s many book covers, and formal blazers combined with the uniform “beatnik” dress-code of drawstring shorts.

Influenced by mid-20th century trends of the predecessors of hippies, Jones’ plethora of pastels graced the stage in a ballet of couture and streetwear, immediately bohemian yet luxuriously refined. While the retinue of college coats, knits and flared trousers remain nostalgically period authentic, the retro garments were accessorised with accoutrements from this century – modern eyewear, chunky mountaineer boots and a penchant for graphics, glitter, and monograms – all juxtaposed against a bygone but beloved era of our socio-cultural heritage.

Three Looks, One Dior

“Dior” logo sports jersey played over an almost iridescent shirt and tie, accented with wrap-around shapes, then literally topped off with a glittery beanie are among some of our favourite looks; as is the thick, velvety suede peacoat and the flared velvet green bottoms and overnight bag – a look tailored for transcontinental travel. Finally – not your father’s check blazer – insouciantly angled and monochromatically punctuated. Prepare for formalwear to get seriously elevated.

(Photos: Brett Lloyd for Dior)

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