by Stephen Garner

Dior Men’s showed its new fall 2021 collection via a digital presentation on Tuesday.

For this season, artistic director Kim Jones teamed up with American artist Kenny Scharf as part of Jones’s new tradition of partnering with contemporary art figures. The resulting collection is a hyper-colored, hyperreal amalgamation of statement and easily-wearable pieces.

With a distinct, immediately recognizable aesthetic drawing on worlds of pop culture and science fiction, Scharf creates cartoon-inspired works that nod to the future and knowingly reference historical art movements. For this collection, Scharf’s works were translated into prints and embroideries, with archival pieces appearing alongside a series of new commissions created specifically for the fall 2021 Dior men’s collection –  drawings denoting the animal characters comprising the Chinese zodiac.

The hallmark of the house of Dior – tailoring – is the foundation this season, underscoring a heightened mood and desire to dress up. The Tailleur oblique, tailored coats, and slender single-breasted jackets are eased around the body, relaxed, and belted at the waist in homage to the bar jacket.

Inspiration is also drawn from China: a source of influence on the designs of Christian Dior himself, and a hub of creativity and craft for centuries. Emphasizing the global nature of artistry, traditional Chinese techniques and materials are translated into the idiom of a French couture house. Yoon Ahn’s modern jewelry uses jade and lapis, and the Maison Lemarié reinvents chrysanthemum blooms as boutonnieres. Tamborine-style berets by Stephen Jones also punctuate the looks.