Kim Jones had planned to show his Dior Men Pre-Fall 2021 collection in Beijing this year but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the British designer chose to unveil his collection through an exclusively virtual fashion show.
The virtual parade was filmed at the Cité du cinéma in Saint-Denis at the end of November. On December 8, a twelve-minute video was unveiled on the Dior website and was broadcasted at the same time at the Phoenix Center in Beijing during an event bringing together a thousand locals who watched the virtual show on giant wall screens and while observing the looks on the brand’s Chinese ‘’ambassadors’’.
Kim Jones has made high-profile collaborations with artists a central feature of his design process at Dior. After Kaws, Hajime Sorayama, Raymond Pettibon, Daniel Arsham and Shawn Stussy, he tapped this season Kenny Scharf, an American artist who emerged from the 1980s East Village scene, making street art alongside his friends Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
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For this collection, the indefatigable globetrotter continues to tell the passion of Monsieur Dior, the founder of the house – and also his own – for the culture and ancestral traditions of the Far East, in this case the China.
Together, Kim Jones and the 62-year-old street artist selected contemporary pieces and older ones from Scharf’s archives to reproduce, including Scharf’s 1984 painting ‘’When Worlds Collide’’ embroidered on a shirt, using a seed stitch technique that dates back to the third-century Han dynasty. The top required 7,000 hours of work over 95 days. . Scharf also designed 12 Chinese zodiac signs for the show’s knits and underpinnings.
The Dior ateliers were also joined by Chinese artisans who rendered Scharf paintings in delicate seed embroideries. Silhouette-wise, Jones’s instinct was to soften his distinctive tailoring and give it a more lounge-y attitude. Jackets are belted like robes and pants are easy; some of the models wear Oblique-patterned slippers.
Dior Men jewelry designer, the South Korean Yoon Ahn, highlighted these pieces with her creations made of jade and lapis, while Maison Lemarié, an expert in feathers and flowers, was invited to design chrysanthemum flowers, emblems of masculine elegance, for the buttonholes and the hatter Stephen Jones to realize berets in the tambourine style enhancing the allure of the silhouettes.
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