Under usual circumstances, the luxury French label would be showing its seasonal collection in a typically extravagant style at Paris Fashion Week. However, as a result of the global COVID-19 lockdowns, for SS21 Dior was forced to find a new mode of presentation – along with the rest of the fashion industry. For this collection, Kim Jones has collaborated with the Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo, who produces works that reflect on his upbringing and Black culture at large, while challenging masculine stereotypes.
For SS21, Dior presents a video conversation with Boafo, where he discusses how he became an artist, and talks about the unique finger-painting method that he is known for. Interspersing the interview are periods of sound, edited and soundtracked by Chris Cunningham, which begins to showcase parts of the collection.
Models are decked in Dior’s latest garments, alongside some current pieces such as the Air Jordan 1 collaboration that has just released. Later in the video, Kim Jones discusses why he wanted to work with an artist, and how the collection started: Jones was inspired by the ivy plant – a recurring Dior motif – after seeing it in one of Boafo’s paintings.
From there, the collection was designed. There’s a lot of trompe l’oeil — visual illusions and artistry — that makes patterns and prints look three-dimensional. One example of this is a trench coat that’s finished with inlays that create the outline of a man on the front when buttoned up.
Elsewhere in the collection, Dior presents new takes on the oblique logo, which appears in new knitted versions of last season’s vests. There are jumpers with large prints of Boafo’s works, and plenty of tailoring – which we get a better look at in Act II of the live video, directed by Jackie Nickerson.
Act II is presented much like a runway. In this, we see suits paired with cummerbunds, a standout shirt embellished with shimmering ivy leaves, belted androgynous outerwear, and lots of floral prints adorning shirts, tank tops and more. There’s a showcase of new footwear: a foray into must-have sandals, alongside military-inspired boots.
For those wanting to see pieces up close, watch Dior’s theatrical Spring/Summer 2021 presentation below.