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Louis Vuitton‘s men’s artistic director, Virgil Abloh, has an innate way of transporting us—our minds, our wardrobes, our curiosities. For his first three shows at the house, he followed a thread of connections. While interpreting the brand’s codes in new ways, he mentioned that “boyhood” connected to The Wizard of Oz, which then connected to Michael Jackson. As explained in our cover story last year, he looks at previous seasons and goes to the next based on where he thinks “a logical expression can go.” But yesterday was his fourth show, and it followed few beats from his previous collections.
The dreamy start began by entering an indoor set on the Tuileries Garden’s grounds. Guests were instantly immersed in a heavenly scene—an immersive environment with clouds from floor to ceiling, a tree in the center, and enlarged tools and accessories one would find on an atelier desk. There were monstrous scissors, a Louis Vuitton key, a pencil, and more, but a sense of his first collection’s “boyhood” was there, too. This time, however, we’ve graduated to early adulthood.
Models emerged one by one through a keyhole door, positioned up a flight of stairs and flooded with sunset-colored lights. From the start, we noticed a new feel from Abloh—a take on the everyday working wardrobe. Streetwear was technically still present—because his interpretation of streetwear is simply the clothes we actually wear on the street and how we wear them—but this collection carried a new feel. Tapered silhouettes, evolved brand signatures, and a progressive, re-appropriated attitude encouraged us to dress well, but as the collection notes stated, not let our day job define us.
For the first time, we saw suits from Abloh. Six variations of the slim-fitting suit were reinterpreted with the designer’s artistic touches, complemented by shirts and ties up top and Chelseas boots down below. Each suit was entirely different than the one before it, with some bearing thin cutouts, multiple pockets, and references from previous collections—like epaulettes and one-sided vest-like details. All men on the move carried a commuter-friendly bag of some sort, too—like a tote, a backpack, or a carryall. A special detail for this season’s bags was also a new shape, now slightly curved to meet the shape of the body.
Shoes, a typical focus for Abloh, were elaborated on. Dress shoes had a wrap-around fixture around the toe box, and sneakers—particularly a dreamy crystallized pair—turned every head in the room. Accessories were the hot topic of the ultra-cool collection, and no doubt for at least a new take on the Millionaire sunglasses, a Bluetooth speaker luggage piece, bright bucket-like beanie hats, short ties and thin tie clips, and a new gold Louis Vuitton button seen shining from several coats.
Fashion patrons that are even remotely caught up on the surmounting social media posts also noticed another unmissable detail—adorned faces. Men with confidence in their hip-and-hype suits made their way through the crowd with half of their faces adorned in metallic-like detailing. During the finale, a reflection of the clouds above shined back at us from their faces, reminding us that when it’s time to leave work at work, it’s time to dream.