Dior Menswear A/W2021
Dior ends 2020 on a high with their A/W2021 menswear collection. By Carolina Anzalone
The Dior Menswear A/W2021 show was certainly a different collection from the previous ones, characterised by the collaboration between the American artist Kenny Scharf and creative director Kim Jones. Immediately noticeable was the strong influence of what Covid-19 has brought to us during 2020. Just think about how our lives changed and how much this ‘sense of evolution’ is still palpable. However, the Portrait of an Artist collection contrasts and positions itself in opposition to this global heaviness. This is evident from the colour choices and graphics selected by the designer. Kenny Scharf, famous for his trippy art and cartoon style, gives to the collection not only strength but also an aesthetic clearly reminiscent of earlier pop music culture. In fact, Scharf’s portraits and the 12 Chinese zodiac signs he designed specifically for the collection feature prominently throughout.
It’s also necessary to highlight the homage to China, which has lived through a controversial period over the past few months. Here China is instead celebrated in the attention to details and the craftsmanship seen in the embroidery. The aesthetics and vibes are very reminiscent of the Orient and yet fused with elements of 90s youth culture. It’s a line that’s halfway between sci-fi and retro, perfectly framed by the taste of Maison Dior.
The catwalk outfits are immersed in an infinite nebula of stars, losing visual boundaries and almost floating within these explosions of colour. Jackets and coats are some of the main pieces of the collection, with a more relaxed line and closed with a belt in a tribute to the Bar, the evolution of Dior’s iconic New Look. Also evident is how the art and its communication through the chosen prints and patterns gives soul and life to the outfits, elevating the garments themselves to works of art. Uniqueness has been another theme strengthened by these past months, bringing to light the need for uniqueness in male style.
Jones does full justice to the artist’s paintings, accentuating their uniqueness through the use of iridescent fabrics and embroideries that embellishes the garment. The brilliant embroideries blend with the comfortable lines and the soft fabrics that come close to the body, introducing a new fashion style that provides comfort but at the same time refinement. But it’s also evident that the man presented on Jones’ catwalk is a product of Generation Z and brings with him the digital era. Indeed, it has been digital communication that has allowed us to remain connected and active during a period of total stalemate. So, let’s not forget how we were entertained and inspired by the creators themselves and made to feel part of a single community.
Portrait of an Artist is an explosion of colours that frames masculinity in a thousand different facets and shades. Bold colours stand out, evoking a rebirth and return to life after a long period of widespread numbness. It does not only want to celebrate man but also to place him within an infinite context, such as space. He wants to be fun, he wants to dampen the tension and come out into the open, finally feeling part of a global family that accepts him.
It’s not also a coincidence that the choice of soundtrack for the show, a remix of Pussycat Meow by Dee-Lite, revers to love several times with the line, “I think I know what love is”. Love is undoubtedly one of the most important and widespread topics of the moment, which blends perfectly within all the colours used for the patterns and bright fabrics. Love has no colour and cannot be placed within a finite space, and this predicts the direction in which fashion wants to communicate to the world. A future of acceptance and love for oneself and others.
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