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South African Craftmanship Shines At Dior SS25 Menswear Collection

Forget celebrity clout and Olympic hype, Kim Jones’ latest Dior show for Spring Summer 2025 took a detour to the heart of South Africa and it was a beautiful love letter to the artistry and rich cultural heritage of the country.

Jones, a known collector with a deep appreciation for hidden gems, turned his focus to the captivating works of South African master potter, Hylton Nel. The 83-year-old artist’s influence weaved its magic throughout the collection, from playful cat motifs adorning sleek suits to intricate embroidery that mimicked the texture of Nel’s famed ceramics.

The runway transformed into a celebration of South African artistry. Models strutted between massively scaled-up reproductions of ceramic anthropomorphic animals. Models sported everything from jackets with naive bird motifs made from silver studs, hand-crocheted hats with cat pendants by Earth Age, a South African brand, and Nel’s whimsical sculptures found a new life as statement neckpieces,  a clutch and embellishments on the iconic Dior saddle bag.

But the influence wasn’t all surface-level. Jones, who himself grew up in Africa, channelled the country’s vast landscapes into the silhouettes. Think explorer jackets, wide-legged shorts, and footwear reminiscent of traditional clogs – all perfect for traversing the rugged beauty of the veldt. The collection, a testament to the enduring power of craftsmanship, offered a refreshing departure from the usual celebrity-driven spectacles. Proving once again that fashion can be a powerful platform for cultural exchange.

For Nel, the collaboration meant a well-deserved spotlight. “It’s very delightful,” he said backstage, his enthusiasm evident. Jones, on the other hand, seemed driven by a deeper purpose – to keep pushing boundaries and ignite a sense of discovery in his audience. After all, as he noted, “Keeping the customer excited is the most important thing.”

The message was clear: Dior SS25 wasn’t just about clothes; it was a celebration of artistry, cultural heritage, and the enduring human spirit that breathes life into exquisite craftsmanship.

Written by Eyram Rafael

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