The Dior Men’s Fall Runway Was Literally Out Of This World

by Julia Oakes

The wait is over: the Dior Men’s Fall 2021 collection has officially come. While the original show was scheduled to take place in Beijing, the pandemic had other plans in mind. And so, creative director Kim Jones had a better idea: stream the runway from outer space.

As with nearly everything else this year, runways have been forced to divert from habitual customs, finding innovative ways to debut the upcoming season’s most fetching pieces. Jones went one step further: touting a resounding intergalactic, outer space vibe, Dior-clad models danced down the runway in front of a digital backdrop illustrating the star-studded cosmos.

The collection, which flaunted Jones’ sophisticated and blasé style, showcased a rigid dichotomy-turned-marriage between Dior’s heritage craftsmanship and the modernist elements of pop culture and an acid-hued palette─all thanks to American contemporary artist Kenny Scharf.

Joining Jones in designing the menswear collection that hit the runway earlier today, Scharf is most widely known for his cartoonist paintings and surrealist blend of pop culture and sci-fi. And with near-total creative freedom to incorporate his artwork in the collection, Scarf was quickly introduced to a less familiar canvas: Dior apparel. The pieces even flaunt some of Scharf’s renowned paintings, one of which was When the Worlds Collide; a 1984 piece largely influenced by pop culture and science fiction. The same painting stole the show on a Dior collared button-down.

With Jones’ creative direction, Scharf’s inarguable artistry and, of course, the Dior ateliers that gave life to the designs, there was no stopping this ultramodern masterpiece. The collection, which included some retouched pieces from the Dior archives, offered an assortment of psychedelic prints, laced gloves, colorful corsages, and the occasional tassel. Oh, and how could we forget the 12 Scharf-designed Chinese zodiac signs beheld throughout the collection, which contrasted beautifully with the traditionality of the couture house’s French design?

Bright colors and kaleidoscopic prints aside, the collection seemed to deliver a simplistic style widely sought after in 2020: relaxed sophistication with a loungy undertone (see: fanciful knitwear and patterned slippers).

Perhaps it was last year’s Shawn collection, which debuted in Miami in a pre-pandemic world, and the lack of normalcy that this year has introduced, that inspired Jones to create an energetic, fun-filled collection this year; one he hoped would provide a break from reality. And if the cartoonish designs and effortlessly casual fits taught us anything, besides the fact that “unimpressive” will never be part of this label’s vocabulary, it’s that life (or seemingly unmatchable prints) should never be taken too seriously.

See the full collection below:

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