The spring-summer menswear collection by Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton definitely breaks the frame in which the designer has worked so far.
With this presentation, Abloh reached the peak of his experimentation, managing to cleverly combine cultural issues of gender with fashion. The result is “one continuous logic about diversity and design”, as he himself claimed.
What Abloh has done, through the multiple references to film and pop culture, is to create a larger narrative, in which fashion is just one of its parts. Indeed, as never before in this time of pandemic, fashion communication has changed to such an extent that it has become intertwined with multiple contexts.
Among the main sources of inspiration, there is definitely the sound of black music, Hip-Hop, Jungle and Rave. It is precisely from these subcultures that streetwear fashions made its way, which in this context blend with the elegance of tailoring.
The juxtaposition of two seemingly different worlds – streetwear and tailoring – is materially expressed through colorful checkered jackets; “The game of chess, as it relates to life”, Abloh explained, “this idea of two entities that always battle in a strategic way[…]”.
Even in the silhouettes reverberate the figures of chess, the elongated shapes from the top hats, the dark suits that adhere to the body elegantly. And on the opposite side we encounter everything that diverges from linearity; bright colors -electric blue, neon green, yellow, shocking pink.
Along with subculture references, there are also some details of Kendo, the Japanese martial arts. “I very much appreciated those narratives about how martial arts spreads across different cultures and becomes something new wherever it lands, and that was key”, said the designer.
Cultural issues and integration, frame the story of a father who helps his son to grow, to make room for himself in the world. Besides, that’s exactly what the pandemic has driven us to do. “It’s just metaphoric: parent and offspring, the layer of protection that’s needed in uncertainty”, he finally said.