During its latest virtual show from Beijing, Dior Men showed a hyper collection by American artist Kenny Scharf which is lovingly made using ancient Chinese seed embroidery techniques.
Combining pop culture, street art, and science fiction with an instantly recognizable aesthetic, Kenny Scharf—an emblematic figure of the ’80s East Village scene, alongside his peers Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat—creates works populated by brightly colored creatures, a joyful universe influenced in particular by cartoons and Surrealism, playing on the distortion of forms and spaces.
A mix of Scharf’s archives and more recent work were commissioned specifically for Dior’s Fall 2020 collection, including drawings denoting Chinese zodiac animal characters. Other references include his 1984 “When Worlds Collide” painting and newer artworks like “LA Blobz” and “Koz.”
The acid-dyed universe Scharf created with spray cans became, thanks to a high-powered Paris atelier and artisans in China, stunning sequined fantasy coats and stupendous intarsia jackets where the giant mouths, glowering eyes, and fiendish smiles of the artist’s cartoon characters fought for supremacy.
“I wanted to do something quite fun and poppy because everything’s so down at the moment,” Jones told WWD. “We just wanted the playfulness of trying to get out of this, where we are at the moment.”
Added Scharf: “I’ve worked with so many designers over the years, but never in this kind of depth that I knew was going to take place. So it’s been very fulfilling to me to see all these beautiful creations took to their fullest — not just a little dabble here and there, like my other ventures in fashion.”
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