Back from a three months long hiatus due to health concerns, Virgil Abloh made his return to the frontline last week with the Louis Vuitton Men's Fall 2020 show. And it seems the designer was completely serious when he predicted recently that streetwear is going to die, because his fourth collection for the luxury house is all about the suit. Studying the "evolving anthropology of the suit and the reprogramming of traditional dress codes", Abloh twists the silhouette into something new, far beyond the conventional notion of corporate attire.
Suits are deconstructed, quite literally, and stitched together such that they appear to float on air, while white cotton poplin dress shirts are reimagined with cutouts in the shape of the LV Monogram, striped patchwork patterns, and even giant ruffles. Slim suits in taupe, grey, brown, and green are paired with Chelsea boots and curvier versions of classic bag styles like the Keepall and the Steamer. Flashes of hot pink in the form of gloves, sweaters, hats, and bags, and pieces printed with fluffy clouds add a sense of joie de vivre.
But let the Abloh fans be reassured, this is more of an evolution rather than a U-turn, as explained in the show notes: "Streetwear is a label freely adopted and rejected by Virgil Abloh. Through the contemporary breakdown of dress codes, the popular idea of streetwear calls for a redefinition of the term itself. Today, streetwear characterises the clothes we actually wear and the way we wear them".
Check out the entire collection below:
Titled Heaven on Earth, the show definitely lived up to its name. Guests like Bella Hadid, Kris Wu, J Balvin, Skepta, and Diplo gathered in a surrealist, Magritte-style tent in the Tuileries Gardens, dappled like a cloud-filled sky, and dotted here and there with oversized tools. A DJ-set by Juan Atkins and Richard David, the '80s Detroit electro duo also known as Cybotron, provided the perfect soundtrack for the occasion.
Born of the fusion between formal and streetwear, the Fall/Winter 2020-21 season serves up a version of "neo-tailoring" of which Virgil Abloh is the undisputed master.