California Couture

Dior took over Venice Beach, with a little help from ERL designer Eli Russell Linnetz
By Alex James Taylor | Fashion | 20 May 2022

Globe-trotting as always, after last season’s London homecoming, yesterday Kim Jones took Dior to Venice Beach for his Spring 2023 menswear show, taking over a whole block on Windward Avenue. And, in a first for the fashion house, the show was also available to experience through Horizon Venues for those with Meta Quest Virtual Reality Headsets.

Everything was fed through a unique creative dialogue between Kim Jones and ERL creative director and all-round creative maestro Eli Russell Linnetz, who acted as guest designer for this collection (find out more about Linnetz’ incredible background here) A Venice-native, Linnetz’ subverted take on pop culture and masculinity oozes California summer haze, and when paired with Jones’ own meticulous sensibilities we get “Californian Couture” – spelled out on tinsel embroidered knits.

On a runway decorated with cresting waves and backdropped by the hustle and bustle of Venice beach, models looked every inch the part – as if they’d just stumbled upon the catwalk on a casual beach walk. Oh hey, guys. And that was exactly the point, as American iconography translated throughout. In soft, grungey silhouettes, LA tropes were mixed and matched to create a distinctive portrait of the city’s unique style. Satin basketball shorts adorned in crystal waves and shell embroideries, pointed prom night lapels, acid trip prints, fluffy bucket hats, knits slung over shoulders and sunglasses like the ones Kurt Cobain made famous. All-gray suiting nodded to Cary Grant’s North by Northwest executive, Saddle bags were reimagined with skater chain handles and everything was worn with skate sneakers, untied – laces loose in the breeze. Elsewhere, Linnetz took some classic Dior and twisted it, reworking John Galliano’s classic newspaper prints as the Venice Vanguard, hot off the press, these pieces were covered with the designer’s own surf photographs alongside vintage Dior ads and the 1905 announcement of Venice Beach’s birth.

A love letter to LA, this Cali eclectism even extended to the front row, where Christina Aguilera sat next to Christina Ricci, Kelly Osbourne and Tony Hawk. Very cool.

GALLERYCatwalk images from Dior SPRING-SUMMER-2023