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5 Things To Know About Dior Men’s Explosive FW21 Show

For his fall/winter 2021 collection for Dior Men, Kim Jones collaborated with the artist Kenny Scharf and interpreted a relaxed post-pandemic wardrobe.


Yannis Vlamos

The collection was a study in the post-pandemic wardrobe

If there was a touch of Far East tailoring to the relaxed suiting Kim Jones proposed in his Dior men’s show for fall/winter 2021 – furry slippers in tow – it wasn’t coincidental. Before the pandemic hit, the designer was planning to take the show to Beijing. When that was no longer an option, he followed through with the artisanal underpinnings of the collection and worked with a number of craftsmen in China. Incidentally, it created a silhouette and construction that felt entirely tuned in to a post-lockdown climate of so-called comfort-wear: loosening up constricting uniforms such as the suit, and making everything feel more like the comfy loungewear we’ve been gravitating towards while working from home this year. “It’s how we’ve all been living for the last eight months, let’s face it,” Jones said on a video call. “It’s like, what does the suit mean to someone after the pandemic? Who’s going to go out and a buy a tailored jacket? Well, people might go out and buy a soft, relaxed jacket. That’s a different question.”

dior men

Kim Jones said it was all about lifting our spirits

Presented on the same day as the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine jab was administered in England, the optimistic outlook of Jones’ collection was unmistakable. “In the times we’re living, I wanting to do something celebratory. That’s very much the code of Christian Dior himself, who created this house after the Second World War to bring joie de vivre to people’s lives,” the designer said. Above all, he wants to lighten the mood for the young generations, who follow him. “I’m very fortunate that people relate to me as well as the company, especially young people. When I meet people, they say, ‘Oh, my kids are obsessed by you!’ I find that kind of mind-blowing, that 16-year-old kids are so interested in what I do, but it keeps me looking for what excites the youth. That’s what fashion is really about.”


Yannis Vlamos

It featured a collaboration with Kenny Scharf

Unable to take his show on the road, Jones pre-recorded it in Paris – sans audience – against a trippy backdrop that evoked those old-school, galaxy-themed screensavers, quite appropriate for a time when all our lives are lived in cyberspace. The digital-ness of it all was reflected in the fabrication of his relaxed tailored garments, some of their surfaces glistening as if they’d been digitalised. In that same vein, original holographic prints had been created by Kenny Scharf, whose signature cartoon characters also appeared in the collection. The American artist’s early years on the 1980s New York City art scene – with the likes of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat – informed a mood Jones defined as “light”. While in lockdown, he had reacquainted himself with Scharf’s work. “I was thinking, Kenny’s still around and doing brilliant work, and I wanted to do something upbeat. I was looking at all the crossovers of it, talking to him about his life in New York.”


The show had an original soundtrack by Lady Miss Kier of Deee-Lite

One of the crossovers materialised in the show’s soundtrack. Mixed by Honey Dijon, Lady Miss Kier of Deee-Lite rerecorded her evergreen What Is Love? in a lyrical ode that asked the question, “How do you say Dior?” It set the time-specific stage for a collection rooted in New York’s interdisciplinary art scene of the late ’80s and early ’90s. Jones said he liked what it stood for. “They were doing that stuff when they were really young. It was never about money. It was about doing something they really loved. And I started out doing something I really loved. Money was never something I thought about. It was a bi-product. I’ve had a little bit of time to support some young designers and talk to them about their work, because we haven’t been able to travel. They say, ‘I want to start a brand.’ I say, ‘No, you want to start doing things you love, and that turns into a brand.’ Starting a brand sounds like you want to make money. No, you do it for the love.”


Yannis Vlamos

It marked Jones’ first Dior show since his Fendi announcement

Since his Judy Blame-inspired fall/winter 2020 collection for Dior hit stores, Jones has been watching sales soar – this, despite its very formal nature, which hardly panders to the comfort-wear vibes of the lockdown mood. “That collection is selling like crazy. We’ve been flying. It’s crazy. Our customers can’t travel but they want to do something. They’ll have a dinner party at home,” he reflected. Suffice to say the pandemic hasn’t killed our hankering for glamour. This January, Jones will make his womenswear proposal for post-pandemic dressing when he takes the reins at Fendi. “I’m going back and forth to Rome and Paris,” he said. “It’s nice to do a new role because it makes me think of my other role in a different way. The next Dior collection [for fall/winter 2021] is very different to what we’ve been doing here before, because I have another outlet as well. The first Fendi thing is going to be pretty nuts, to be honest. I’m taking a job which used to be Karl Lagerfeld’s so I’ve got to make it a spectacular.”

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