Dior Men’s Ready-To-Wear Summer 2021

MEN’S SUMMER 2021 COLLECTION

A CELEBRATION OF IDENTITY, OF THE POWER OF CREATIVITY, OF ART’S ABILITY TO TRANSPORT. FOR SUMMER 2021, DIOR MEN’S ARTISTIC DIRECTOR KIM JONES COLLABORATES WITH THE GHANAIAN-BORN, VIENNA- TRAINED ARTIST AMOAKO BOAFO THROUGH AN INTIMATE, ALL-ENCOMPASSING AND HONEST CULTURAL CONVERSATION THAT BEGAN IN 2019. THEIR MEETING AT THE RUBELL MUSEUM IN MIAMI WAS ARTISTIC LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT; KIM JONES AND AMOAKO BOAFO HAVE A TRUE MUTUAL ADMIRATION FOR EACH OTHER’S WORK.

THE AFRICAN CONTINENT IS A CONSTANT, INFINITE SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR THE HOUSE OF DIOR, WHICH FOR MANY YEARS HAS WOVEN STEADFAST BONDS WITH ARTISTS AND ARTISANS FROM MOROCCO TO THE IVORY COAST. KIM JONES SPENT HIS CHILDHOOD YEARS ACROSS AFRICAN COUNTRIES: BOTSWANA, TANZANIA, ETHIOPIA, KENYA AND GHANA. TO KIM JONES, AFRICA IS HOME – THE SOURCE OF HIS FORMATIVE IMAGES OF LIFE; A GENUINE CONNECTION, A REAL PASSION – ITS NATURE, ITS CULTURES, ITS PEOPLE INSPIRE HIM. AND IN REFLECTING THAT THROUGH CLOTHES, JONES TURNED TO BOAFO, AN ARTIST WHO OPENS WINDOWS ONTO A CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN LIFESTYLE – SPECIFICALLY OF ACCRA, GHANA, WHICH HAS A RICH TEXTILE HISTORY – AND TRANSFORMS HIS EVERYDAY INTO THE EXTRAORDINARY.

BOAFO’S CELEBRATED BLACK DIASPORA PORTRAITS ARE EXPLORATIONS OF HIS OWN IDENTITY AND PERCEPTIONS OF BLACKNESS SPECIFICALLY BLACK MASCULINITY. ALREADY EXPRESSIVE OF A CULTURAL FUSION, HERE THOSE ARTWORKS ARE TRANSPOSED – LITERALLY AND METAPHORICALLY – ONTO GARMENTS EXPRESSIVE OF THE TECHNIQUES AND HISTORIES OF HAUTE COUTURE. EXPLORING THE WORLD, WITHOUT MOVING.

EACH PIECE IS A COLLABORATION, A DIALOGUE. BOAFO’S ARTWORKS ARE INSPIRATION BUT ALSO AN ESSENTIAL FOUNDATION. COLORS ARE DRAWN FROM HIS VIVID, NEAR-SURREAL HUES – FLUO YELLOW SATURATES MOIRÉ, ALONGSIDE BLUE, CORAL AND GREEN. PRINTS ARE DRAWN FROM THE GRAPHIC PATTERNS THAT CHARACTERIZE HIS WORK. A JACQUARD OF PAINTBRUSH STROKES IS BASED ON A PHOTOGRAPH, TAKEN BY KIM JONES, OF THE RICHLY TEXTURED CANVASSES IN HIS STUDIO. IN REFERENCE TO THAT THREE- DIMENSIONALITY, SURFACES ARE INTRICATELY REALIZED, PRINTED AND LAYERED; RIBBED KNITS, INCORPORATING JACQUARD PATTERNS, HAVE THE APPEARANCE OF A PAINTED CANVAS. IN OTHER PIECES, EMBROIDERIES, KNITWEAR AND INTARSIA LITERALLY TRANSLATE SPECIFIC WORKS BY BOAFO TO THE WEARER’S BODY. SILHOUETTES ARE NARROW, STREAMLINED, SPORTSWEAR-INFLUENCED YET WITH THE PERFECT TAILORING CHARACTERISTIC OF A COUTURE HOUSE.

UNANTICIPATED TIES ARE DISCOVERED BETWEEN THIS CONTEMPORARY ARTIST AND THE SPHERE OF DIOR – REFLECTING THE DEPTH AND BREADTH OF THE MAISON’S HERITAGE. BOAFO’S LOVE OF FOLIATE TEXTILE MIRRORS DIOR’S OBSESSION WITH GARDENS AND FLOWERS; HIS BOLD COLOR PALETTE COULD BE DIOR’S. AND A FRENCHNESS, EVOCATIVE OF THE UNIVERSE OF HAUTE COUTURE, UNDERPINS EVERY LOOK: MARINIÈRE STRIPES, DIOR OBLIQUE EMBROIDERY ON TULLE. EMBROIDERIES BY ATELIER VERMONT REFER TO PIECES FROM DIOR’S ARCHIVE. HATS ARE BASQUE BERETS BY STEPHEN JONES.

IN THESE EXCEPTIONAL TIMES, DIOR REINVENTS ITS PASSION FOR EXCELLENCE THROUGH CAPTIVATING DIALOGUES BETWEEN FASHION AND CREATION IN ALL ITS FORMS, FROM PAINTING TO FILM. AT THE CROSSROADS OF CONTEMPORARY ART AND DOCUMENTARY, THE VIDEO REVEALING THE DIOR SUMMER 2021 MEN’S COLLECTION IS PRESENTED IN TWO PARTS: A FIRST INSTALLMENT EDITED & SOUND TRACKED BY THE VIDEO ARTIST CHRIS CUNNINGHAM WITH IMAGES SHOT IN LONDON AND AT AMOAKO BOAFO’S STUDIO IN GHANA; AND A SECOND UNVEILING KIM JONES’S CREATIONS, DIRECTED BY JACKIE NICKERSON.

IN A PROLONGATION OF THESE DAZZLING ENCOUNTERS, DIOR PERPETUATES ITS COMMITMENT BY HIGHLIGHTING AND CELEBRATING THE WORK OF YOUNG ARTISTS, A UNIQUE PASSION AND HERITAGE PASSED DOWN BY MONSIEUR DIOR HIMSELF. THE HOUSE WILL LEND ITS SUPPORT TO AN ART INITIATIVE SPEARHEADED IN GHANA BY AMOAKO BOAFO FOR THE CREATION OF A PLACE OF RESIDENCE FOR YOUNG ARTISTS.

THE MEN’S SUMMER 2021 COLLECTION AND THE ARTISTIC COLLABORATION WITH AMOAKO BOAFO

THERE IS THE WESTERN WORLD’S PERCEPTION OF AFRICA AND THEN THERE IS ACTUALLY THE REAL AFRICA. THE AFRICA YOU COME FROM OR HAVE REGULARLY VISITED. KIM JONES AND AMOAKO BOAFO REPRESENT BOTH. BOAFO, A PAINTER BORN IN ACCRA, GHANA; JONES, BORN IN LONDON WITH A CHILDHOOD SPENT IN ETHIOPIA, BOTSWANA, KENYA, TANZANIA AND VARIOUS OTHER PLACES IN AFRICA, INCLUDING BOAFO’S NATIVE GHANA. A HOME I IMAGINE HE WAS REMINDED OF WHEN HE CAME ACROSS AMOAKO’S ART IN 2019 AT THE RUBELL MUSEUM IN MIAMI WHERE HE WAS A RESIDENT ARTIST. AMOAKO’S ART DROWNS THE VIEWER IN THE SHIMMERING LIGHT OF THE BLACK GAZE, WHICH WE SO RARELY SEE IN FASHION OR THE ART WORLD. EACH OF HIS SUBJECTS CELEBRATES BLACK LIFE, BLACK SKIN SHROUDED IN EXUBERANT COLORS SPLAYED ACROSS HIS CANVASES. COMBINING HIS TOOLS WITH AMOAKO’S, KIM BRINGS TO LIFE A WARDROBE INTENDED FOR THE PAINTER’S SUBJECTS. PULLING THESE BEAUTIFUL CHARACTERS OFF THE MUSEUM’S AND COLLECTORS’ WALLS WHERE THESE WORKS NORMALLY DWELL AND BRINGING THEM TO A SPACE WHERE AFRICAN CULTURE IS AT TIMES REFERENCED BUT RARELY FULLY ACKNOWLEDGED IS WHERE KIM’S TALENT AS A DESIGNER EXTENDS BEYOND JUST A GARMENT AND ASCENDS TO WHERE ALL ARTISTS ASPIRE TO GO… TO THE HEART OF A STORY, AND THE MOST POWERFUL STORY IS A STORY RARELY TOLD.

A CORNUCOPIA OF STRIPES, FLORALS AND NEONS. THE COLORS, CUTS, PROPORTIONS, PARING, AND LAYERING OF THE GARMENTS ARE ALL ARTFULLY MANIPULATED BY THE BLACK GAZE OF AMOAKO’S PAINTINGS. KIM DOESN’T HIDE HIS HAND, WHICH GUIDES THIS COLLECTION PURPOSELY, BECAUSE THE HAND IS AFRICA, AND THROUGH THAT, EDUCATION IS GAINED, A STORY IS TOLD AND A PAINTER AND HIS SUBJECTS ARE CELEBRATED IN THE CONTEXT OF A DIOR COLLECTION THAT SHOWS ANOTHER CHAMBER OF KIM’S VAST INFLUENCES AND HIS ABILITY TO HARNESS THE CULTURES HE HAS EXPERIENCED IN HIS LIFETIME. THIS ISN’T JUST A COLLECTION; THIS A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TWO ARTISTS THAT GIVES BIRTH TO A COLLECTION OF CLOTHING THAT IS MORE THAN THE SUM OF ITS PARTS. TWO MEN WHO LOVE AFRICA AND ITS PEOPLE, TELLING THEIR STORIES IN SPACES THESE SUBJECTS RARELY GET TO GRACE, AND IN THAT LIES THE POINT OF ALL THIS.

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