Virgil Abloh's New(est) Vision

im电竞官网-The fashion industry flux continues at Louis Vuitton

louis vuitton  dani bastidas
Louis Vuitton / Dani Bastidas

On a late-May call with Virgil Abloh, I asked what he had planned for Louis Vuitton now that a traditional fashion show – one with models and a catwalk and beautiful people on the front row – seemed temporarily impossible. He was tight-lipped, of course, but optimistic. Excited, even.

“Well, I’ve got ideas…” he offered, gnomically. “You’ll hear the plan in the near future, but in that respect, my ideas over this time off have only gotten bigger.”

im电竞官网-In Abloh’s short time as artistic director – his first collection was S/S’19, presented in Paris in June 2018 – the runway shows have formed a huge part of his overall project, serving as a bombastic, IRL expression of his streetwear-skewed, boyhood-tinged vision of Vuitton Luxury. The S/S’20 show last year, for example, saw one of Paris’s chicest squares cordoned-off and transformed into an LV idyll equipped with café, ice cream stand and orchestra, led by Benji B.

In the current climate, how could Abloh’s ideas have gotten bigger? Well, that is still yet to be seen… but we can be sure that they are broader. As of this week, the plans are being put into action.

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Many brands – Gucci; Saint Laurent, for example – have stated that they will no longer adhere to the usual calendar of events the fashion industry tends to stick to. Nor will they show seasonal collections any more, opting instead to present ‘seasonless’ batches of clothing. (What ‘seasonless’ actually means in terms of a collection of clothing is not as of yet defined, but it speaks to the industry’s collective attempt to move away from the culture of regular, seasonal newness. Or so I surmise.)

im电竞官网-Abloh has taken it a step further by announcing this week that the Spring/Summer 2021 collection, which would have been unveiled at a single show in Paris last month, will now be shown gradually over the next few months in both real-life and online form. Titled ‘Message In A Bottle’, the first live event will be in Shanghai next month, but it all began today at Paris Fashion Week’s first digital incarnation with a short animated film.

In ‘The adventures of Zoooom with friends’, we witness a crew of animated figures – a frog, a scarecrow, a lion, a bird and a dragon, I think – larking about in Paris. The gang hop about the city, dance on the Pont Neuf and wrap themselves lovingly around the Arc de Triomphe.

im电竞官网-It’s weird – psychedelic in parts – and very fun. Not words you’d likely associate with a French purveyor of luxury goods, but it feels very in-line with Abloh’s own aesthetic. One of collage and childlike irreverence and rich, high-def colour. You’ll notice there is no actual clothing in the video (save for the brief appearance of a black suit and a tan shearling bomber), but that typifies the nature of this summer’s fashion weeks so far.

lv ss21 pre
Louis Vuitton S/S 2021 Precollection
Louis Vuitton / Dani Bastidas

By means of a teaser, I was suitably teased (and entertained, and compelled to dance), but we’ll have to wait until August to see actual clothes. In the meantime, we can feast on a few morsels from the Pre-Spring 2021 collection, which was part-unveiled yesterday. The three images released feature a green leather bomber, a black fur coat (ahem) and two floppy sun hats, among other relatively understated bits. The coats are slick, but it’s the hats that catch my eye. I would take either for the summer we’re almost having right now, rather than waiting until November, or February, when the collection will drop (in two parts). The rest of the pre-collection will be unveiled at the end of the month, and fingers crossed it sheds more light on the mainline stuff to follow. I just hope we see more of ol’ Zoooom.

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