Californian Pop Culture Meets Parisian Couture In Dior Men’s Spring Capsule Collection 2023

You probably have not heard of Eli Russell Linnetz. Yet, the Californian head of ERL just might be the most influential fashion designer in the industry; this film student turned designer has worked with Kanye and Lady Gaga and directed videos for Teyana Taylor. It would make sense that Kim Jones, our King of Collaboration, would seek Linnetz and choose to show the capsule collection against the backdrop of Venice Beach, Los Angeles, a stand in for fair Verona where Baz Luhrmann set his take on Romeo & Juliet.

It’s Linnetzʼs backyard‒ “I grew up in Venice Beach, I came to this street all the time,” said Linnetz at a preview before the show, and it is here that Jones would set the tone for the Dior Men Spring capsule collection 2023.

Off-white wool, cotton and alpaca jersey mock neck knit with handmade tinsel California couture embroidery; grey blended silk bermudas with handmade wave pearls embroidery and ornamental shells; off-white mohair and cotton fur effect bucket hat; white crystals and silver finish brass Lily of the Valley brooch, engraved Dior; Mini Saddle Venice in metal gold; white blended cotton knit socks with purple stripes and silver metallic thread stripe and embroidery; Dior by ERL B9S sneakers in cream suede with Dior Oblique jacquard and rubber soles

Of his collaborator, Jones said, “Not only do I like his work but working with a younger designer on Dior Men and seeing things from his perspective, felt incredibly inspiring. It was both familiar and revelatory, reaffirming why we both dreamed about working in fashion in the first place.”

Our two visionaries on this collection were first introduced by mutual friends and then when Jones arrived at ERL in Venice Beach, Californian pop culture met the spirit of Parisian couture, where Jones’ own fashion sensibilities merged his translations of tailored Dior-referenced couture elegance with the contemporary, almost “everyman” outdoor technical ensembles.

Grey heathered cotton fleece hooded sweatshirt with handmade wave pearls embroidery and ornamental shells; white cotton poplin shirt with embroidery at chest pocket; off-white silk canvas bermudas with all over floated yarns; white silk large tie with all-over purple gazette print; and silver finish brass earring in large rectangular white crystal

Using Linnetzʼs year of birth, 1991, as a jumping-off point for the collection, Jones matched their muse with the Dior archives for that year, eventually settling on the maximalist elegance of Gianfranco Ferrèʼs designs. It was this moment that the Houseʼs history, combined with ERLʼs singular vision, formed the threads of a collection that highlighted Kim Jonesʼ passion for inventiveness and collaboration.

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Jones’ idea of this capsule was to look at refreshing the codes of Dior, and with ERL he found his ideal co-collaborator. According to Linnetz, Jones was like: “Go into the archive and take what you want, create whatever you want; if it’s not Dior, I’ll let you know.” Attracted by over-the-top, gold embellished embroidery, the ornateness pulled Linnetz in instantly. Yet, within it, there are references to Jones’ first collection with calls to inside-out tailoring and an emphasis on details.

It’s the quirkiness of the Venice Beach vibes together with the seriousness of the House of Dior. Among our favourites, grey blended silk Bermudas with handmade wave pearls embroidery and ornamental shells, matched with the Mini Saddle Venice bag in metal gold and the ERL B9S skaters in cream suede and that unmistakable oblique jacquard.

Dior Men Spring Capsule Collection 2023
Dior by ERL B9S sneakers in blue satin and cannage kumo with rubber sole

It is the embodiment of ERL that really celebrates the savoir faire of Dior Men. The spirit of the creative dialogue between Jones and ERL, embodied by an immense wave that breaks over Venice Beach’s Windward Avenue, and back into the ocean. Silk taffeta enables the garments to move like water and though the refraction of light on the detailing, highlights all the different facets of the beads: the feeling of California’s Venice Beach revisiting in a couture way.

Another editorial favourite: grey heathered cotton fleece hooded sweatshirt with handmade wave pearls embroidery and ornamental shells. Each look plays on tones, grounded by the padded tongues of skate shoes where an airbrush artist accents all the exposed seams on the blue satin cannage kumo, giving a sense of depth and relief to the motifs. On the soles, a tiny, tonal “Dior Oblique” motif made with a laser; these elements paired with a padded tongue with lots of wattine and chunky laces evoke not just the Californian skater universe but also Dior’s heritage. ERL’s quirk distilled with a lens of sophistication. Welcome to the new wave of fashion.

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Main image: Brown wool cavalry twill large pants with handmade pearls embroidery on sides; Saddle Venice in cannage shearling natural

Photos Morgan O’Donovan For Dior