For A/W21, Dior menswear artistic director Kim Jones took a sartorially inclined approach to Doig's work, zooming in on the bodies in the Scottish-born, Trinidad-based artist's paintings, which transpose the silhouettes of a wide range of photographic and artistic references (brightly colored hockey players, ethereal Napoleonic troops, flaming lions, and figures that nod to Rousseau and Cézanne) onto the runway. Jones' artist collaborations have always gone beyond a T-shirt with a given graphic. He worked with Jake and Dinos Chapman twice at Louis Vuitton, and since joining Dior three years ago, he has collaborated with a variety of artists to develop diverse interpretations of the human figure. Jones was particularly interested in transforming the surfaces of Doig's paintings, which are rich in layers of pigment, oil skeins, and paint drips, into complicated fabrications for the new partnership.
Doig delved into his own archive for his research, splicing starry skies from Milky Way (1989-90), recreating the mesmerizing landscape of Pelican Island (2006) with a single bobbing canoe, sampling colors like bold orange, forest green, and dusky blue, removing figures and fabrications, and painting new pieces. Doig was particularly fascinated to learn that Christian Dior had previously worked as a gallery director. He and his business partner Pierre Colle organized some of the first exhibitions of Calder, Giacometti, and Dal in France between 1929 and 1931.Jones has professed a dedication to time-honed, handcrafted craft since joining Dior, as well as bringing a fresh spirit to the Parisian salon with sportswear. His A/W21 collection included bowler hats and berets, which were worn on the runway with ceremonial tailoring, sophisticated peacoats, and ribbed roll-necks.
Two fantastical creatures, one dressed in a Napoleonic jacket and the other in a ceremonial fur-trimmed coat, stand against a colorful brick wall and a starry midnight-blue sky in Gasthof (2002-04). While working as dressers for the English National Opera in the 1980s, Doig and a buddy were photographed in a crowd scene for Stravinsky's Petrushka. It does, however, look like two moustachioed self-portraits. The figures act as gatekeepers to Doig's surreal world, which Jones has reimagined, as if they have wandered through the foreground of the runway's lush green grass. Jones is eager to go even further into Doig's surreal environment, which includes layered hues and a vast range of references spanning location, genre, and time.