The first hoodie to ever grace Dior’s runway arrived on Thursday evening at the Spring 2023 show, which took place in Venice Beach, California, right under the Venice sign. The catwalk was designed to resemble the barrel of a wave that washed Windward Avenue in a hue of ocean blue and swept through Venice’s iconic colonnades. The paneled hoodie resembled something like a new age, yin and yang symbol, one of the most recognizable motifs from ERL, the American ready-to-wear label designed by Eli Russell Linnetz, the guest designer for Dior’s Spring 2023 capsule collection.
Before breaking the internet with ASAP Rocky’s Met Gala look, which was made from a quilt 30-year-old Linnetz found in a thrift store, the “Wave” hoodie was one of Linnetz’s first garments to gain widespread attention after Kanye West, one of fashion’s greatest hoodie sommeliers co-signed it by simply tweeting, “My friend Eli’s hoodie. Love this.” That was before the designer even released his first full ready-to-wear collection in 2021.
And like yin and yang, Dior’s latest collection was indeed a meeting of opposing perspectives that harmoniously clashed with one another in the beachside city that Linnetz calls home. Kim Jones, the French fashion house’s artistic director of menswear, is no stranger to such surprising collaborations. Jones’ tenure at the house has led to Dior collaborations with artists like Kaws and has brought streetwear pioneers like Shawn Stüssy out of retirement. But letting Linnetz take the stage to reinterpret Dior’s rich archive and create garments described as “California Couture” has led to one of Dior’s most memorable menswear collections.