Dezeen Magazine

Villa Eugénie creates "mechanical garden" for Dior Spring Summer 2024 menswear show

French fashion house Dior has presented its Spring Summer 2024 menswear show, in which models rose from the floor of a purpose-built structure that was designed by events and production company Villa Eugénie.

The show took place at the École Militaire in Paris inside a purpose-built grey box structure that was installed on the grounds of the military college for the occasion.

Interior of the Dior mens show
The show took place during Paris Fashion Week. The top image is by Alfredo Piola

Inside the purpose-built structure, which was created by Villa Eugénie, grey blanketed the interior alongside a gridded metal floor and stretches of tiered seating that flanked the walls of the space beneath a lightbox ceiling.

As the lighting dimmed, signifying the start of the show, 51 panels within the gridded floor began glowing and withdrew to reveal a trap door from which models individually rose to the interior's ground level.

Interior of the set by Villa Eugenie at Dior
Floor tiles slid open to reveal models

In Dior's show notes, the presentation was described as a "mechanical garden" with models rising from the ground like growing "male flowers" or "homme fleurs", adorned in the brightly coloured and embellished Spring Summer 2024 collection and floral-like hats.

"A collage of influences and pop iconography takes shape in a mechanical garden of 'homme fleurs', simultaneously embracing tradition and subversion," said Dior in its show notes.

Photo of the open model entrances
51 models emerged from openings

"Before we were looking with our eyes and now we look with our phones. Does it look good on film? Does it look good as an image to be posted?" said Villa Eugénie founder, Etienne Russo in an interview with System Magazine.

"We researched, we did several tests," Russo continued. "The weight, the speed, the softness, the mechanic behind the opening and closing, the lighting. All of that has been a journey of research. I don't see this as a show more of a performance."

When all models had risen from beneath the floors of the show space, each circled the perimeter of the interior before returning back to their assigned floor tile where they sunk back into the ground.

The show, which was titled From New Look to New Wave, celebrated Dior men's creative director Kim Jones' five-year anniversary at the house.

Photo of a model at the Dior show
The set was created by Villa Eugénie. Photo courtesy of Dior

The collection referenced Jones' predecessors at the house, including the works of Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Gianfranco Ferré, Marc Bohan and John Galliano.

British milliner Stephen Jones created a series of beanies, which reference Phrygian liberty caps, that see the cockade of the liberty cap replaced with traditional Chinese velvet flower head accessories named Ronghua.

Photo of a model at the fashion show
The models were "homme fleurs". Photo courtesy of Dior

Jones' references to flora and gardens are not new in his messaging and collections at Dior. For its Spring Summer 2023 menswear show, Jones collaborated with Villa Eugénie to create a replica set of Christian Dior's childhood home and garden with 19,000 flowers.

Prior to that, Dior's Spring Summer 2022 menswear show comprised a set that included 27 oversized sculptures of cacti, mushrooms and roses organised around a wrought garden gate.

At Dior's Autumn Winter 2023 womenswear show, artist Joana Vasconcelos created a 24-metre-long installation that utilised fabrics and textiles from the collection.

The photography is by Adrien Dirand unless stated otherwise.

More images

Photo of the Dior show
Photo is by Brett Lloyd
Photo of the Dior show
Photo of the Dior show
Photo of the Dior show