A hymn to youth and romance. A manifesto of freedom and naive delicacy. A harness adorned with flowers, the same ones that can be found on a T-shirt or bursting from a travel bag. Or again from those monogrammed kites exhibited with simple nonchalance by adult-children. Welcome to the world of Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton. Or better, welcome to the Vuitton square, because the LVMH fashion house has chosen to do big things by dressing and customizing the historic Place Dauphine in Paris.
Cafés and restaurants transformed into Vuitton bars. XXL benches came in monogram versions. Fire red inflatables. Ice cream carts and party crêpes. Bookstores with ad hoc productions. Everything is painted in shades of emerald green and red, like those balloons that the kids wore at the end of the show.
The vocabulary coined by Abloh this season is marked by a parade of outfits that explore comfortable proportions, prints with sudden blooms and memories of street culture. "I always wanted menswear to be as evocative and expressive as red carpet dresses are," the designer explained. "I used flowers as a poetic metaphor for diversity... They are all different and some are not beautiful. But overall they build a poetic image of beauty."
And the flowers, real or printed, punctuate the whole show in an aesthetic game that sees him marry oversized cargo and underground culture sweatshirts. The silhouettes are easy and everything smells of cool youth — especially the accessories. First and foremost, there were sneakers, coloured and with hanging tags of transparent plastic. And then the bags, an endless parade of rigid geometric shapes and pleated constructions, of mountain ropes used to pack them and of hand-painted flowers on classical forms, of a contrasting devoré logo and large explorer backpacks. But also backpack and baby carriers turned into armor to defend a romantic street child's soul. It all evoked a sense of wonder — and in that respect, Abloh's latest collection is already a success.
See the full Louis Vuitton Men's Spring/Summer 2020 collection: