Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
Nearly two months ago to the day, we spoke with the artist Kenny Scharf about his “DystopianPainting” exhibition (September 10–October 31) at Almine Rech in New York. He didn’t care to share what he was working on after the show closed, instead saying, “What’s next is very soon and too big to announce at this moment!” That sentiment rings true today, and now we know why he kept his artistic antics hush-hush. This morning, his iconic colorful cosmos made their big debut at the house of Dior, reimagined on garments and accessories for the men’s Fall 2021 collection.
For the designer Kim Jones’s latest artist collaboration, he called upon Scharf to bring contemporary art to his canvas of high fashion. Typically seen through a more traditional art lens, the Los Angeles-based artist’s recognizable work has graced the walls of buildings, gallery spaces, and even the sides of cars. Today, however, we saw his art anew, splashed across tops, trousers, bags, and more.
Anchoring the celestial set by Villa Eugénie was an intergalactic video installation by artist Thomas Vanz. It presented the perfect far-out space for models to bounce to the beat of the show's soundtrack—Honey Dijon-remixed songs“Pussycat Meow” and “What Is Love?” by Dee-Lite. For the collection, Scharf’s artworks were reimagined in the Dior atelier, reinvigorated through prints, embroideries, and archival pieces. In addition to these reimagined works, a new series of commissioned artworks are specifically created for this line, including warped drawings of animals found within the Chinese zodiac calendar.
Colorful cosmos zipping through the air bore their usual grins and hyperreal characteristics, but this time moving in the wrinkles of fabric. On one button-closed collared top we see a dramatic blue Scarf protagonist cut down the middle at its wide smile, joined back together as a diptych. Another top and coat set matched in character colors, with a red swirling blob beaming various smirk shapes. Other garments like tailored coats, slim and trim single-breasted jackets, and slender button-down tops hang relaxed on the body—a few belted at the waist to pay homage to the Bar jacket. Dior’s Saddle bag reemerged with Scharf’s fantastical twist, the brand’s monogram print graced fuzzy slippers and bags, and rope belts wound around a fastening loop dangled mini Dior bag charms.
Inspiration from China continued to play a part in the collection throughout, with a nod to the country’s historic artistry, techniques, and materials. Translated in Dior’s iconic French look, we saw large Chinese chrysanthemums bloom as boutonnieres; jade and lapis used for modern jewelry pieces, including earrings, necklaces, and pins; and brightly colored berets topped an array of looks by hat designer Stephen Jones. With this mix of Chinese inspiration, French craft, and American art, the world of fashion becomes an explorative global utopia unto its own.