Dior Men Winter ’21 Collection Merges Fantasy With Reality

by Aaron Royce

Just as we started pining for sunnier spring temps, Dior unveiled its latest menswear collection this morning and made us think ahead to our November wishlists.

Kim Jones’ Winter 2021 offering debuted on the maison’s website this morning, and while the show space was fantastical, the collection itself remained more structured and serious. A lot of the collection revolved around heritage and ceremonial garb, albeit in haute couture-inspired silhouettes. Mandarin collared shirts were given shoulder epaulettes and accented with tall buttoned cuffs, ribbon and medal embroideries, or star-embellished buttons. Coordinated pleated pants had stripes running down their sides, creating ensembles which mimicked royal and military uniforms. Indeed, off-duty royalty proved to be a strong, reoccurring reference point. Some ensembles, worn with tall rubber boots, looked like modern iterations of Prince Charles’ personal wardrobe. For instance, an all-black outfit, composed of the aforementioned trousers and a ribbed mohair turtleneck sweater, is one we’d gladly don for an afternoon of pheasant hunting or strolling through the British moors.

Naturally, an artistic collaboration was also part of the collection—as Jones is always wont to do. This time around, he tapped Scottish painter Peter Doig. The artist’s contribution was seen from the very first frame, as the runway’s presentation space was painted with his signature starry landscape in numerous shades of blue. Doig’s unique paintings were peppered throughout, whether through serene landscapes printed on coats or abstract swirls on a range of collared shirts. Two splotchy camouflage patterns were especially prominent, covering everything from anoraks and zip-up shirts to cargo trousers and Dior’s signature saddle bags. Particular standouts included two knitwear motifs, specially created for the collection, which were both given a blurred effect to mimic Doig’s painting style. The first, a green, cream, and yellow replica of Monsieur Dior’s dog Bobby; the second, a lion in deep pink, yellow, and red. Alongside a spotty brushstroke pattern and illustration-covered hats by Stephen Jones, both creatives’ crafts were expertly merged.

Compared to last season’s collection with Kenny Scharf, this Dior winter lineup is much more grounded. Like other menswear designers, it seems that Jones is keeping some silhouettes relaxed but preparing our wardrobes for a post-COVID future. For Spring, designers have been pushing escapism and comfort; now, it seems, they’re ready to return to structured clothing and brave an unfamiliar future.

See the full collection below:

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