At this very moment in time, hundreds, thousands, even tens of thousands items are being created. These items are to be consumed by us people, will one day turn old and are thrown away with the garbage like mere pieces of cloth. They disappear from the memories of the people who wore them, the people who saw them being worn, even from the people who made them in the first place. People throw away and buy new items, and so the process repeats; this is how the cycle of the fashion industry turns right now. And yet. There exist items out there which don’t get caught in the whirlpool of consumer society, that have their own authentic value. Jackets that have made fans crazy ever since they were announced on the runway; M51 coats that have become revalued over the years; rider’s jackets and denim pants that have been raised to the level of art pieces. These aren’t just consumed and thrown away; they instead start shining brighter and brighter with the years. People sometimes call them ‘masterpieces’. In this column, we will introduce you to some of these masterpieces that remain in the history of men’s fashion, and look into the process in which they were created.
There are many pieces one might consider ‘masterpieces’, and yet speaking of designers that have produced the most of these since the coming of the millennium we have to start with Hedi Slimane. He worked on the 2001-02 AW collection for Dior homme, the men’s collection by Christian Dior, presented first at the Paris Collection. He was then appointed as the artistic director for the project, after working as a designer for the men’s wear collections at Saint Laurent. At the time he was in his thirties. While following the trail of thought left by Monsieur Dior, his creations also featured a sort of rock mentality and very tight-fit items, which left a lasting impression on the men’s fashion industry. On the runway, he chose not to use professional models, instead opting for amateurs and musicians, and kept changing up the way of presenting as well as the genre of the items themselves. Every season, people from all over the world were awaiting impatiently to see what he would create next. The man known as Hedi Slimane created a new flow of design with Dior Homme, which leapt over the borders of countries to even make people in Japan its victims. When the stores first opened, the official stores were flooded with people, and even young people with not much money to spend did their absolute best to get their hands on an item by his hand. The town flooded with people walking around wearing Dior homme items, and when these people met they would join in conversation about the new collection and the items that were announced their. That situation lasted for several years.
Several tens of items appear in one season, but some items were only produced in very limited quantities and were highly valued for their design by many people, which lead to a rise in the prices of these items. This jacket is one of those items; it appeared in the 2004SS season. This season’s collection belongs to what is often called the ‘STRIP’ period; items in this period were based on a heavy metal philosophy, with many items made in back. It used body with cotton as the main material, coated with silicon, treated to look destroyed, which lead to it being called the ‘destroyed jacket’; consequently, a struggle between Dior homme fans occured who would be able to buy this item as a set with denim destroyed jeans. Fifteen years have passed since then, but the popularity of this item has not decreased a single bit. If only, it has only grown brigger, with its value rising higher and higher after Hedi Slimani made his comeback. This is a piece that represents the whole collection, maybe the whole carreer of a designer who singlehandedly created an era of fashion. The popularity of street fashion as a whole is slowly dying down and tailored, tight-fit items are set to make a comeback; if you ever planned on wearing this item, this might be the moment.
Text_ LUDO OSHIKAWA