The Scottish-born, Trinidad-based painter Peter Doig is among the lastest artists to dip into the fashion world, teaming up with designer Kim Jones to present Dior’s fall–winter 2021 collection.
Jones, who has worked with a different artist for each collection he’s done since joining Dior Homme in 2018, not only sought inspiration from the celebrated painter’s nostalgic artworks and moody color palette, but also worked with Doig for five months to plan, conceive, and ultimately realize the collection.
Doig was instrumental in the design process, working more closely with Jones than any other artist to date, color-matching swatches to his own pigments and even adorning several of the collection’s felt hats—crafted by his old college friend, the celebrated milliner Stephen Jones—with original artworks.
Doig also created and installed the collection’s runway set up—a midnight blue catwalk with large stacked boxes painted in rust and ash gray hues—which alludes to his melancholic skyscapes.
“[It] was such an honor and a thrilling experience to turn ideas and dreams into color and functional forms,” Doig said of the experience on his Instagram.
The collection, which was presented via livestream on January 22, consists of an eccentric assemblage of silhouettes that on occasion translate Doig’s motifs literally.
In one instance, the yellow, green, and red sweater worn by the left-most figure in Doig’s Two Trees (2017) is brought to life in Look 14. Meanwhile, the rose-toned lion roaming the streets of Trinidad in Doig’s Rain In the Port of Spain (White Oak) (2015) is reimagined on an angora pullover in Look 18.
If the collection wasn’t specifically intended to faithfully recreate Doig’s world, then Jones may have overshot his aim. But at the same time, that exact adherence to Doig’s work sets this collection apart from most other art-fashion collaborations, where artists are rarely as involved.
For Doig, the collaboration presented an opportunity to return to an earlier time in his life, when he had aspirations to ascend the ranks of the design world.
In the 1980s, Doig worked as a part-time dresser at the English National Opera and spent much of his free time with English designers like David Holah of BodyMap and Leigh Bowery, the performance artist and designer who also straddled the space between art and fashion.