It's impossible to miss the star of Dior Men's new pop-up boutique in Sydney.
This would be the giant "BFF" creature created by the New York-based artist KAWS as part of his collaboration with Dior Men creative director Kim Jones.
Lying in elegant repose at the entrance to the space the Instagram-bait critter is crafted from (fake) roses in one of many nods to Mr. Dior throughout the collection. Roses were Mr. Dior's favourite flower, and the fabled man behind the brand was a keen horticulturalist.
A referential collection
The roses make for a nice synergy with Kim Jones' approach. Jones mined the Dior archives for inspiration for his first collection as creative director last year.
"The collection is really based on Mr Dior's personal life," Jones ahead of the show.
This respect for heritage is dotted throughout the Summer 2019 capsule showcased in the pop-up space too, albeit re-imagined and played around with.
Look for the signs
For starters, the Dior bee, long a motif for the maison. For the capsule Jones worked the bee into tailoring, in sequinned patches on sweatshirts and polos and leathergoods. The key difference? All of the bees have their eyes crossed, a signature motif for KAWS.
Mr Dior's CD initials can also be found stamped in the pockets of jeans in the collection, a modern, cooler, approach to monogram.
Then there's the Dior saddle bag, re-launched last year (the bag reached cult status in the early oughts) to serious fanfare. The shape has been a success for both the men's and women's lines. In part because of its versatility. The bag can be worn cross-body, as a bum bag (yes, the trend lives on) or carried as a clutch.
The playfulness of the collection is grounded with more utilitarian accents such as the collaboration with British menswear designer Matthew Williams on a rollercoaster inspired buckle seen on belts and bag straps, as well as Kim Jones' take on the "guest pass" all visitors to Dior HQ in Paris are issued with, on tees and shirting.
KAWS' interpretation of the Dior logo features prominently in the industrial-chic space of the pop-up, complementing the raw concrete, optic white and neon accents. The logo also features on tees and sweats in a palette of monochrome and pink.
The pop-up will carry exclusive pieces including a bee motif clutch, coin purse and embroidered Japanese denim and is open from January 24 to March 31 2019.