For the Dior Men's Fall 2021, Kim Jones collaborated with legendary american street artist Kenny Scharf
Dior Men’s pre-fall 2021 collection debuted yesterday, via live-streamed video on Dior’s social media channels. It was a projection of an exploding cosmic supernova that provided a perfect backdrop from which the impeccably-cut silhouettes of Jones’ tailoring emerged—embellished with ombré curtain tassels, illusionistic all-over prints, and the house’s classic saddle bag reimagined in a mind-bending array of shapes and sizes.
This season, Jones Collaborated American Artist Kenny Scharf, who was emerging in the 1980s in the heart of the East Village, and who rubbed shoulders with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring—Scharf is known for his bulbous, interlocking cartoonish figures in a kaleidoscopic palette, or vibrant “spray" painted shapes. Scharf's signature Art appeared across everything from T-shirts to belted jacket details, and interesting accessories (After all, it’s exactly kind of high-low mash-up—the crème de la crème of French tailoring mixed with New York Downtown graffiti—that lends Jones’ vision for Dior Men it's endlessly charming weird and wonderful magic.)
There were acid green Bantu buns, Pepto-Bismol pink hi-tops, monk-like bowl cuts, and more squiggly-wiggly monsters than you could shake a stick at—making for a video-on-demand experience just as trippy and transcendent as Jones surely intended. Or, in the words of the purring whisper that weaved in and out of the soundtrack’s thumping house beat, still lodged in the brain hours after watching the show like a fudged-up fashion lullaby: “How do you say… delicious… delectable… divine... Dior?”
During Kim Jones’ tenure as creative director of Dior Men, his runway shows have offered the kind of spectacle only the biggest Paris houses could produce—just take the giant center-piece starring Monsieur Christian Dior himself crafted by street artist KAWS from thousands of flowers for his debut collection, or the glossy 39-foot-tall fembot conceived by Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama for his cruise show in Tokyo the same year.
But Kim Jones has a finely-tuned instinct for a well-timed collaboration. (Shawn Stussy, Nike’s Air Jordan team, and James Jebbia of Supreme would all agree on that one.) It’s something that feels even more significant in the wake of the pandemic this year—without Jones’ ability to conjure the same kind of fashion extravaganza he’s conceived across seasons past, it’s his knack for finding the right collaborator to respond to the present moment that serves as one of his aces up his sleeve, and making a highly desirable memorable Collection at the right moment.