Last week Louis Vuitton Man showed (live) in Shanghai, with a runway strong under different the point of view: the collection itself, but also its meanings and its spectacularity. All attributes we liked a lot and, frankly, we needed after a slow season -for obvious reasons.
Virgil Abloh is one of the most interesting and promising designers of our time and, like all enlightened minds of any period, he was able to take full advantage of the current situation: the pandemic and its, still uncertain, consequences have given him way to reflect and reinvent his style. Abloh himself pointed this out during the press conference. His situation as a black man at the head of one of the most powerful luxury brands in the world forces him to continually think and rethink his expressive codes. Just as the situation of minorities is constantly evolving, and gradually requires different approaches, so his language adapts with the seasons. The unprecedented health emergency we have faced is just another of the changes that have shaken our community – this time in a more visceral and comprehensive way. Abloh analyzed everything and brilliantly reworked it in the Menswear collection for Spring 2021.
The collection was anticipated, during the Digital Fashion Week in Paris, by the short movie Zoooom with Friends. The imaginary and fantastic friends “land” in China and the models come out from their ship, anchored at the port. The fantastic characters of the cartoon accompany each look, in the form of prints, applications and pendants. They are indeed the only part of LV’s team that travelled to China, while models, insiders and spectators were all local. Virgil Abloh himself did not move from US.
The playfulness of the short Zoooom with Friends has been translated into vitaminic looks and maxi shapes. Many styles are classics of the French Maison: Abloh himself has declared his primary intent to take classics pieces and reinvent them for the contemporary world. Old and new coexist without clashes, their languages are fluid, as much as several different influences intersect. Black couture, BIPOC and LGBTQ + among others. Abloh and his aesthetic sense are the result of infinite suggestions, which, when mixed together, form an explosive mix. Which is exactly what works today: all we need is an open mind, a great desire to learn and different backgrounds, to achieve real and uncompromising inclusiveness.
The collection is hilarious, strong and destined to become a cult. Especially for the younger ones. For us, the most beautiful pieces are the jackets with applied plushes (the one with the black scorpion on a fluorescent yellow coat in first place) and the playful sunglasses, which seem to come out of the pencil of a crazy cartoonist.
Cover image courtesy: Louis Vuitton via vogue.com