Last Thursday, Dior kicked off a series of pop-ups taking place across the world, bringing the men's Pre-Fall 2021 collection in collaboration with the American painter and artist Kenny Scharf, into stores for the first time. On May 4, the surreal and cartoonish-aesthetic of Scharf's graphics hit London Selfridges for the ultimate retail experience, colliding with the new hyperreal campaign by Rafael Pavarotti which captures the cartoonish glory of the collection.
The Dior men's Pre-Fall 2021 show was first unveiled earlier this year in an out of this world live-stream from Beijing. Set against a swirling, galaxy-like backdrop, models appeared to walk the runway in outer space. Playing on the psychedelic and surreal nature of the work of the artist Kenny Scharf, with whom Dior men's artistic director Kim Jones called upon this season to collaborate with, the new pop-up at Selfridges takes its cues from the cosmic setting for the show, with Pavarotti's campaign encapsulating the joyful, science fiction-inflected collaboration.
Scharf's cartoonish characters guard the Selfridges space in the form of sculptures, balloons and 3-D stickers, alongside an interactive motion sensor screen. Dior describes the experience as, 'An invitation to take flight, and a hymn to the power of imagination that transcends frontiers.'
At the heart of the pop-up is the collection itself, which offers up the core Dior men's wardrobe but with the unmissable burst of Scharf's acidic and vibrant colour palette, which translates perfectly for our new reality, lived out through our screens. Mixed alongside loose tailoring and Matthew Williams' buckle belts, is the seasonal knitwear and jersey designed by Brian Moore. The intarsia knits are especially hard to miss with their psychedelic and swirling Scharf-designed prints, whilst as this season's berets by Stephen Jones are the pièce de résistance. The collection focuses on savoir-faire as always, but this season incorporated jacquard and embroidery techniques celebrating Chinese savoir-faire. Scharf's animated figures and shapes are also strewn across the Dior men's Saddle bag, blown up in scale, alongside the covetable B23 sneakers which will will be available in the pop-up.