Dior Men's Portrait of an Artist for Spring/Summer 2021
At a time of increased awareness and sentiments surrounding the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, Dior Men's spring/summer 2021 collection may seem conveniently timely.
But the truth of the matter is, artistic director Kim Jones has had a longstanding history referencing African art and culture because they're something that's close to his heart. As a child, Jones grew up in different parts of Africa—Botswana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana—and calls the continent home.
The Dior Men spring/summer 2021 collection came to be after an encounter with Ghanian artist Amoako Boafo in Miami last year. Much like what Jones does exceptionally well, Boafo is known for turning out inspiring works of art from the ordinary.
Boafo captures portraits of friends and family (and sometimes famous Black icons) in a vibrant mix of collages and painting, hallmarked by his technique of finger-painting the facial features of his subjects, resulting in strikingly alluring imageries—an artistic celebration of African beauty and culture.
As if it were pre-destined, Jones came across a new work of Boafo's while visiting his studio in Ghana. A man painted wearing an ivy shirt then became the starting point of the collection, just like how the ivy dress is an important part of the Christian Dior history (and has been reinterpreted countless of times by its roster of creatives).
It would be remiss of us to not point out that the Dior Men spring/summer 2021 collection is modelled only by a group of Black models. The house of Dior will also further its endeavours of highlighting and promoting the work of young artists by lending its support to Boafo's initiative to create a place of residence for young artists in Ghana.
Right off the bat, there's a heavier use of sportswear this time around. But of course interspersed with the couture-level tailoring that the house of Dior is renowned for. Chunky soled sandals worn with Dior Oblique socks in varying hues, long-sleeved turtlenecks as the base layer to most outfits, and the key defining feature of the spring/summer 2021 collection, the cummerbund, reworked in sporty combinations of summer brights—reminiscent of striped sports bands.
With the cummerbunds apparent in almost every look, there's a deliberate focus on a cinched waist. And when paired together with the collection's slate of impeccably tailored shorts—choose between the cargo or single-pleated versions—creates an elongated silhouette that's streamlined and irresistibly chic.
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