The French luxury House was inspired for its new Spring-Summer 2021 Men’s collection by the famous West African artist Amoako Boafo, known for his “Black Disparo” series. A way for Dior to highlight black identity.
In view of the current historical context, Kim Jones is one of the few designers to seem to be in tune this season with the international Black Lives Matter movement, a revolutionary moment in politics and society that is not sufficiently present in fashion collections.
British designer Kim Jones has shown his commitment by promoting black identity through the creations of the Ghanaian artist in his Men’s Collection at the Digital Fashion Week in Paris.
The two men met at the Rubell Museum in Miami, in front of which Dior had organized its latest cruise fashion show.
It all started with a discussion about a green dress designed by Monsieur Dior, whose hue Kim Jones had found in a painting by Amoako Boafo called Green Beret during a visit to Ghana. From there, the painter’s work began to infuse the textures, surfaces and colors of this Spring-Summer 2021 collection.
Amaoko Boafo finger paints portraits of black men who have “a sense of style“. Dior places at the center of the film the artist “who explores the perception of black identity and masculinity”.
A presentation that is at once sophisticated, majestic and refined. A true fashion statement, relevant and instructive..
At the crossroads of contemporary art and documentary, the film is presented in two parts: the first edited by video artist Chris Cunningham with images shot in London and Ghana and the second directed by Jackie Nickerson revealing Kim Jones’ outfits.
The film opens in Africa, on a wild beach by the Atlantic Ocean. In the background, we find ourselves in the studio of the painter, also an illustrator, whose self-taught technique, dynamic painting captures something of universal pride that can be read on the serene faces of his subjects.
The video was unveiled online on Monday, the last day of the first exclusively digital edition of Paris Fashion Week for men.
While the presentation of Dior haute couture a week ago in a film by Italian director Matteo Garrone was criticized for its lack of diversity, this men’s collection from the French luxury house is worn exclusively by black models.
The House presents a collection that mixes chic sportswear pieces with jackets and coats with sophisticated cuts. Dior’s emblematic pearl gray color with flashy touches of pink, yellow or green was born from the fusion of these two creative worlds, whose video shows unexpected affinities.
The paintings of Amoako Boafo, a rising value that is exploding on the art market, are transposed onto haute couture silhouettes that are “subtly streamlined and refined,” Dior points out in a press release.
“I love his work, I’ve always wanted to work with an African artist, because I grew up in Africa and African art has always been part of my life,” explains Kim Jones in the film.
Amoako Boafo also enjoys painting his friends, family and admirers. Indeed, in the video, his models pose in front of their own portraits dressed in Dior. Some of them then gather in his studio in Accra, including this dashing young man, beads in the dreadlocks and grey hoodie splashed with paint on his back.
“It’s interesting to work with a fashion house: at Dior, they were able to transpose my finger-painting technique onto clothes,” the 36-year-old painter marvels.
When Kim Jones visits the 36-year-old painter’s studio in Ghana, he discovers a work representing a man dressed in a shirt adorned with an ivy print, emblematic of the French house.
“From there, we came up with the idea of using the textures, prints, patterns and colours of his work to create true living portraits,” says the British designer. The idea was originally intended for a fashion show that couldn’t take place because of a health crisis, but the film allowed us to talk more about the artist, “his life, his subjects and his portraits,” says Jones.
Featured photo : © Dior