For his Fall 2021 Men’s collection, Kim Jones drew inspiration from the universe of contemporary artist Kenny Scharf, bursting beyond the boundaries of time and space with a dazzling virtual show. Featuring bright day-glow colors, the resolutely playful collection is an invitation to a one-way trip to Planet Dior.
“When we started the collection we were coming out of the first lockdown and I wanted to spread some joy, happiness and hope,” says Kim Jones, Artistic Director of Dior Men’s collections in an exclusive video presenting the expertise that went into his Fall 2021 collection. The designer says he wanted to share a wave of optimism, drawing inspiration from the pop universe of American contemporary artist Kenny Scharf. The meeting of the two creative talents spawned a dialogue between couture tradition and technological precision in a virtual world where everything becomes possible.
A huge fan of science-fiction and street art who is famous for characters that seem to have jumped straight out of cartoons, Kenny Scharf infuses his work with humor. “I love the clash of colors – yellow and purple, orange and blue, red and green. When you take the happy and sad opposites and put them together, it creates the tension and excitement that I love,” he smiles. These bright-hued mélanges appear in the dyed hair of models as well as the scenography by French director Thomas Vanz, who avows a fascination with astrophysics. His colorful ink and glitter videos created a magical galaxy as the backdrop for Kim Jones’ silhouettes. In an homage to the Bar, jackets are belted at the waist over pants cropped above the ankle. The New Look for outer space is embellished with chrysanthemum blooms as boutonnieres, created specially by Maison Lemarié.
Dior Ateliers translated Kenny Scharf’s works into prints, fusing them with the famous Dior Oblique motif and appropriating them for embroidery executed using traditional Chinese techniques. China also inspired new drawings by the artist denoting Chinese zodiac animal characters printed on sweaters, as well as stunning jade jewelry by Yoon Ahn. Tamborin-style berets – a favorite of Christian Dior – were designed by Stephen Jones and embroidered in China. Thousands of tiny pearls and stitches were embroidered using a centuries-old Chinese technique to meticulously reproduce the fantastical Kenny Scharf cartoon characters curated by Kim Jones.
The virtual Fall 2021 show, the runway event in Beijing, artistic dialogues and the amazing fusion of French and Chinese savoir-faire are all featured in exclusive videos on the Christian Dior YouTube channel and Instagram page.