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On the evening of Thursday, May 19, the stars came out in Venice Beach, where Dior men’s artistic director Kim Jones teamed up with local fashion designer Eli Russell Linnetz of the buzzy label ERL to present a collaborative spring 2023 capsule collection under the “Venice” sign. The Parisian fashion brand built a temporary runway on Windward Avenue with deep blue walls behind the seating that crested up in an ocean wave design. Neon palm tree signs announced the “ERL Dior Venice Beach Party,” while sweaters emblazoned with the phrase “California Couture” summed up the casual-chic vibe.
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After stopping backstage, Taika Waititi sauntered to his seat carrying a bottle of champagne and two glasses, with girlfriend Rita Ora trailing close behind. Hollywood florist Eric Buterbaugh showed up with Rumer Willis.
“I think Kim Jones is a king,” Buterbaugh told The Hollywood Reporter before the show. “Literally everything he does is exciting. Everywhere I see him around the world, he brings joy and happiness. For me, it’s a special treat that he’s in L.A.”
Willis chimed in: “I love Kim, and I think he’s brought such dynamic and vision to the menswear, and he’s brought it in a way that’s so visual and so sexy that I always get excited to see what he’s going to bring forward. Even with the color palette, I feel like he’s so detailed with the way he creates not just the clothing but a whole world.”
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Newlyweds Brooklyn and Nicola Beckham also stopped to chat with THR. “I get so excited to see such incredible creators,” said the new Mrs. Beckham, donning a sharp baby blue Dior suit. “And then having them come together and see what they make is so inspiring and so exciting. Eli is talented in so many different ways, whether it’s photography or design. And Brooklyn and I are such fans of Kim already — everything he touches is gold.”
Her husband, wearing a sweater from the collection with a wave motif, added: “We have been really close friends with Kim for quite some time. He always puts on the most amazing shows. We love that it’s outside and that it’s in Venice. We’re very excited about the collaboration.”
Michael B. Jordan, Leslie Odom Jr., Dan Levy, Christina Ricci and husband Mark Hampton, Christina Aguilera and partner Mathew Rutler, Henry Golding, Winston Duke, Jaden Smith, Kelly Osbourne with Daniel Nguyen, Kid Cudi, Thomas Doherty, Colton Haynes, Rachel Zoe, skateboarder Tony Hawk and artist Kenny Scharf (who collaborated with Kim on Dior’s pre-fall and fall 2021 collections) were among the guests. So were key Hollywood men’s fashion stylists Jeanne Yang (Keanu Reeves, Jason Momoa, Regé-Jean Page and Robert Downey Jr. are clients), Warren Alfie Baker (with his client Diego Boneta) and Andrew Weitz (Tom Brady).
With a design studio located in Venice, Linnetz is one of eight finalists for the LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, awarded in June. A$AP Rocky made a sartorial statement at the 2021 Met Gala in a custom ERL wearable quilt and silk taffeta tuxedo, as did Kid Cudi in an ERL white lace wedding gown with gloved sleeves, a tuxedo jacket, crystal-embellished sneakers and a veil at the 2021 CFDA Fashion Awards. Linnetz has worked with Kanye West and Lady Gaga, and Justin and Hailey Bieber, Dua Lipa, and Kendall Jenner are other fans of the brand that champions a fresh take on denim, puffer jackets, flannel shirting, ombré knits, and other Western Americana style staples.
Amy Sussman/Getty Images; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Silhouettes in the spring 2023 Dior x ERL collection — a mix of tailored suiting and streetwear — were inspired by creations for Dior by Gianfranco Ferré, who designed for the house from 1989 to 1996 with a second nod to the Venice Beach skater scene.
“This was actually my first runway show, and it was just amazing to do it in Venice Beach, where I grew up,” Linnetz told THR after the show. “Kim Jones has been so gracious, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity he gave me to work with him. We based it all on the ‘90s archive from Dior so it’s very Pretty Woman– L.A.-Rodeo Drive ‘90s. Gaudy. Maximalist! Everything was inspired by the colors of Venice Beach — the sunset, the ocean.”
He continued: “One of my favorite pieces was a gold saddle bag we made, which was based on a choker we found in the archive. And also the Bar jackets are really cool because they’re all down filled, so you get this pillowy, puffer jacket energy with the tailoring and savoir faire of Dior.”
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This capsule line also reinvents the memorable newspaper prints that John Galliano designed for Dior in 2000 as a Venice Vanguard pattern.
As for Hollywood influences, Linnetz (also a cinematographer, who has acted as well as directed music videos for Kanye West and Shawn Mendes) said: “Even the opening suit was very inspired by Cary Grant’s gray suit in North by Northwest — the iconography of Hollywood and L.A. lifestyle.”
The collection featured glitter and glitz aplenty. Sweaters, fuzzy bucket hats, shorts and sneakers were embellished with crystals. Sweatpants boasted bedazzling tuxedo stripes. Chunky ‘90s-style chains were fashioned into belts, hitched from front to back trouser pocket, or slung across the chest to secure the new blinged-out mini Saddle belt-bags. We imagine a charge for the drop of covetable new Dior sneakers, tube socks and skater shorts.
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“I really loved how Kim Jones played on a track pant, as well as tux pants, with the beaded trim on the sides on several looks,” Yang told THR. “But the tan corduroy suit with the long coat was a standout. Paired with the fuchsia sneakers, the cord suit was a demonstration of his skill at marrying street style and Savile Row.”
Weitz also caught up with THR for a post-show debrief: “I loved the colors and I loved the textures. It’s definitely fashion-forward. It’s a new era of fashion and you can see that Jones puts his heart and soul into it.”
While the capsule line was presented as a men’s collection, Osbourne summed up the universal, unisex appeal: “it was a magical explosion of color. And it’s one of those things where I don’t care that it’s menswear. I want to wear all of it! The shoes and the hats! Breathtaking!”