How Ghana-born Artist Amoako Boafo Inspired Dior Men's Summer 2021 Collection

How Ghana-born Artist Amoako Boafo Inspired Dior Men's Summer 2021 Collection

How Ghana-born Artist Amoako Boafo Inspired Dior Men's Summer 2021 Collection

Presenting the exclusive savoir-faire behind Kim Jones' couture.

Presenting the exclusive savoir-faire behind Kim Jones' couture.

Text: Valerie Stepanova

Last week, Dior unveiled its Fall 2021 Haute Couture collection in a fairytale story that many have criticized for its less-than-diverse casting and questionable narrative. Now that menswear takes its turn in presenting the garments, Kim Jones is ready to give us what he’s got in lieu of the traditional in-person presentation or runway show. 

Without a doubt, this one did not disappoint. For this Summer 2021 menswear range, Mr. Jones decided to collaborate with the Ghana-born, Vienna-trained artist Amoako Boafo. The two have first met at the Rubell Museum in Miami back in 2019 and immediately developed that electric bond and true mutual admiration; it was only natural for this connection to grow and develop and mature and materialize as something bigger. “I really, really, really love his work, and I wanted to work with an African artist for a long time because I grew up in Africa,” Jones said. “African art is something that’s always been important to me.”

The 10-minute digital presentation was divided into two parts: Act I, edited and scored by British artist and director Chris Cunningham. It's a documentary-style video that gives the platform for both Boafo and Jones to reflect on their creative inspirations and what has drawn the two creatives into working together; Act II, directed by visual artist, photographer and filmmaker Jackie Nickerson, is a beautiful sequence of static and moving shots revealing garments set in motion by the all-black cast of models. In an important and powerful way, the artist himself is given a platform to talk about his inspirations, his creative process and what brought him to fashion in the first place. “I love fashion, fashion inspired my work,” Boado said. “So, I tend to look at characters that have that sense of style in fashion.”

Mixing different cultures and techniques and exploring perceptions of blackness and masculinity, the collection sees Boafo’s work being transported onto clothing that illustrates the savior-faire and history of haute couture. The house’s archive couture collections and embroidery have always been a running theme Jones’ collections for Dior; in this range, he mixed those elements with his experience of living in Africa during a formative period of life. Each piece in this collection is a collaboration, a dialogue, with Boafo’s works serving not only as an inspiration but also an essential foundation for garments in this collection. Jacquard of paintbrush strokes and ribbed knits give the appearance of painted canvas; embroideries, knitwear and intarsia directly translate specific works by Amoako Boafo onto the wearer’s body; narrow, sportswear-influenced silhouettes mix with the perfect tailoring characteristic of a Couture house — in the best traditions of Dior Men by Kim Jones.

The aforementioned savoir-faire has always been a big part of the creative and tailoring process at Dior that is present in all of the collections created by the luxury fashion house. “In terms of savoir-faire for this collection, we used a new technique that creates brushstroke textures through movement. Hand-beaded and sequined knitted floral jacquards. Outline embroidery re-creating a version of the classic toile de Jouy motif on satin berets. Inlays of corded piping, creating the impression of the silhouettes of characters in the artist’s work.” 

Watch the VMAN-exclusive savoir-faire video below:

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