Kim Jones’ collaboration with ’80s art star Kenny Scharf might have been the designer’s most confident match to date in its pairing of tailored elegance and pop exuberance. The bold, futuristic designs and the virtual presentation of the Dior men’s Fall 2021 collection unveiled an otherworldly scenography by French director Thomas Vanz, evoking an immersive cosmic journey through space and time.

Brimming with joyful energy, inspired by the acid-hued vitality of Kenny Scharf’s universe, Kim Jones’s Fall 2021 collection celebrates more than ever the artistic languages, from Chinese excellence of craftsmanship to Dior codes and the creative passion of revisited tailoring.

In an exclusive interview with Kenny Scharf, he discusses his collaboration with Kim Jones. An impassioned dialogue that pays tribute to exceptional savoir-faire and the plurality of creative languages, sublimated by the Pop artist’s vibrant, neon-hued universe.

Dior also swaddled its models in cocooning kaftans Tuesday to protect them from an uncertain world, in the first big fashion show staged in virus-hit Paris in nearly seven months.

Three hundred masked movers and shakers braved the drizzle to worship at the “Cathedral of Dior”, as was dubbed the pavilion with stained glass windows the mythic French brand built in the Tuileries Garden for the occasion.

If the first major live catwalk show in the world’s style capital since the lockdown was meant to be a celebration of fashion, no one told the choir. A dozen sopranos screeched out an ear-splitting mourning dirge as the models winced, dodging an Extinction Rebellion protester who briefly unfurled a banner proclaiming, “We are all fashion victims”.

The mounting atonal music was strangely at odds with the looks, which were mostly comfort clothes to soothe nerves and souls addled by months of anxiety.

This time last December, Kim Jones’s many fans across the fashion and art worlds were gathered in Miami Beach. His Dior Men show was a Basel-adjacent affair, complete with a walk-through of the new Rubell Museum. Maybe the planet’s ultimate destination will be the seething cauldron of deep space that provided the backdrop for Jones’s show and maybe such cosmic chaos was also his empathetic tip of the cap to the art environments that Kenny Scharf was notorious for.  

At their peak, Scharf’s “Cosmic Caverns” were an art world cognoscenti destination.  But their humble origin was the “Cosmic Closet” he installed in the apartment he shared with Keith Haring in Times Square in the early 80s.  And that could only be the kind of detail that would set Kim Jones’s curatorial pulse racing.