The culture of fashion: Dior SS21 menswear ‘portrait of an artist’

Dior SS21 men Amoako Boafo

Some more menswear SS21 highlights. On the maximalist craft tip, Dior hit the top notes again with a fab collab with Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo. (See the collection video here.)

Dior’s creative director Kim Jones first met him last year during Art Basel Miami. Boafo was the artist in residence of the new Rubell Museum, opposite Dior’s fall show venue. As Jones’ artist collaborations are now a mainstay of his collections (tying in nicely with Mr Dior’s gallerist past), it made perfect sense for the two to collaborate. Jones already has a connection to Africa having grown up in the continent, while Boafo has a connection to fashion, with his fantastically wardrobed portrait sitters always dressed in attention-grabbing prints and colour combinations.

I love how Jones replicated some of the prints from these portraits as embroidery, jacquards and knits in the collection – this ivy jacquard for example (below)…
Dior SS21 men Amoako Boafo
Dior ss21 Men inspired by Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo
Dior SS21 men Amoako Boafo collab by Jackie Nickerson

Boafo’s painting technique is a unique craft in itself. He puts on gloves and then dips his fingers into the paint for an intense, visceral effect, rather than using boring old brushes. His portrayal of men is another common thread to link to Jones‘s Dior. “In my upbringing, I learned not to associate myself with certain elements/colors that the community teaches you. As a male figure [you are taught] to be aggressive, as they think it’s the only way masculinity can live,” Boafo has said. That sentiment echoes Jones’ recent portrayal of masculinity, using supposedly ‘feminine’ tropes such as soft silks, pastel colours and couture embroidery to reveal the gender-fluidity of the modern man.

To reinforce its support for Boafo and the Ghanaian art scene, Dior is backing the building of an art space in Accra, which will host not only Boafo’s studio but an artist-run gallery to champion new creatives.

Dior SS21 men inspired by Ghanaian artist Amoako Boafo
Dior SS21 men Amoako Boafo

While other designers (including Berluti and Loewe) showed videos of their hyper-craft techniques in action, Dior again has been an early adopter of this trend, inviting us into the atelier to show us the magic happening via beautifully revealing videos. Let’s hope this trend continues.

Below: Amoako Boafo
Dior SS21 men - artist Amoako Boafo

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Dior SS21/Jackie Nickerson
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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