Dior’s pre-fall 2019 menswear show in Tokyo is what I want the future to look like. With the over-the-top glitz of a Vegas casino and the promising silhouettes of Blade Runner, Dior’s first-ever men’s collection shown in Tokyo was a cyborg spectacular. And there was indeed a cyborg—a super-tall, sexy robot that, at nearly 40 feet high, towered over the crowd. Even better was the show’s location: Tokyo’s Telecom Center Building, which along with the laser show at the end, gave the event an eighties bent.
For an indication of the show’s aesthetic, just google images of Tokyo’s famous Robot Restaurant—a chaotic, light-filled, insanely electric space filled with transformer robots and laser beams bouncing off every surface. That’s where Dior threw a party the night before for editors and guests, who watched the human (and animatronic) performers and flashed their Dior neon glowsticks.
“I was looking at how to show in Tokyo,” Kim Jones told Vogue “what my dream of showing in Tokyo would be, and here it is.” The cyborg sculpture was created by Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama and reportedly took 16 people to construct her aluminum limbs, sprayed in silver mirror paint. Sorayama’s high-shine influence didn’t stop there. Yoon Ahn created industrial jewelry, with chains and silicone pieces attached to models’ necks and ears for a half-human, half-robot effect.
The collection itself offered a muted color palette alongside the shine, with a lot of black leather and grey tweed. One of the stand-out pieces was a silver cherry blossom motif printed on a silk shirt and shorts. The show ended with Jones’ thigh-skimming, kimono-inspired leather jackets paired with loose, cropped trousers. Many of the fabrics had been given an oxidation process to give the material an oil-slick-in-a-puddle sheen. Matthew Williams’ brutalist aesthetic from Dior’s June show returned to the Tokyo runway with seatbelt-esque belt buckles and fetish-meets-utilitarian harnesses.
Kim Jones said recently that it was time to retire the term streetwear, and somehow this show made clear why that makes sense. What this opulent, fantastical menswear display indicated is that the booming business of menswear has perhaps evolved beyond the aesthetic we’ve come to think of as streetwear. It’s streamlined and subtle, yes, but Jones imbued this collection with a surreal, ephemeral quality that feels beyond the usual.
If this is the future, we’re here for it—the shinier, the better.