After Milan and Paris Fashion Week in digital version Louis Vuitton returns with the Menswear Spring Summer 2021 collection with a live show in Shanghai. Virgil Abloh had explained that his " Message in a Bottle " collection (citing the title of the The Police song) would be his biggest leap into the void with a fashion show complete in terms of proposal but also for its format. Expectations were high and during a zoom call with WWD, the designer reflected on the stop of the fashion system due to the Covid-19 health emergency: "It seems to me that this 2020 pandemic has imposed a hard stop on the fashion production systems to which we were used to it and I'm interested in this kind of investigation ". The new SS21 collection is the result of his long analysis, consisting of a total of 60 looks: some completely new, others made with recycled materials and taken from the previous collection. Virgil had explained that the brand was in fact replicating some designs to create them with new variations, also using overstock materials.
The new Louis Vuitton collection that showed in Shanghai is a symbol of rebirth for the French Maison. It is meant to be a "mantra of our moment" to use Abloh's words. An ode to progress that renews the stylistic canons of the brand to open a window of new possibilities for the future. "It's my desire to imbue traditional codes of luxury with my progressive values. Nuances, such as sarcasm, can be difficult to understand. Each season, my team updates my vocabulary: a liberal definition of terms and an explanation. ideas. " explained the creative director, "I have often found myself expressing my reality, as a black man in a French luxury house. I am well aware of my responsibilities. Rather than preach, I hope to lead by example and open the door to future generations ". Underlining his statement Virgli Abloh exposes his manifesto of inclusiveness: a collection in which the protagonist is the color that renews its commitment to unity, diversity and individuality. "I will continue to hire diverse candidates, financially support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color ) and LGBTQ + causes , shed light on BIPOC-owned companies and LGBTQ + individuals, work on public-facing initiatives featuring BIPOC role models and LGBTQ + and I will assist organizations promoting a more inclusive workforce. This is my invitation to move forward with awareness, hope and determination. "
The details of the show
Louis Vuitton speaks to the new generations and does not lack the language of the creative director. As anticipated during the digital version of Paris Fashion Week there would have been a tribute to the protagonists of Zoooom with Friends. In fact, the crew of animated characters appear on board the garments in the form of stuffed animals, bold accessories, embroideries, prints, pendants and applications.
"I hope the images speak for themselves: Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz as an ironic parallel to my journey into the fashion establishment (and a pendant to The Wiz, who re-appealed to the film with an all-black cast); Black musical icons as a spokesperson for humanitarian messages, whose appeals unite race, gender, culture and creed; Flower fields as a metaphor for diversity and a symbol of Parisian tradition; Heaven on Earth as a surreal concept of time and progress in society. I use these images to deceive the viewer ideas and preconceptions, override embedded racial associations, and address prejudice on a subconscious level. I wish this collection would serve as a Trojan horse for the mind. " Virgil Abloh