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Yesterday in Paris on the streets of Place Dauphine, Louis Vuitton presented its Spring/Summer 2020 collection—designer Virgil Abloh’s third men’s collection for the house. The event, a site unlike any other, followed the designer’s recent campaign thread of “boyhood” and its many wonders. Bits of that wonderment first came into play with the show’s invitation—a kite, decked out in the house’s monogram print.
Another immediate reference of such boyhood greeted guests upon arrival—a red bounce house seemingly borrowed from an inflatable castle, adorned with a large “LV” at the entry. As guests like Pierpaolo Piccioli, Liya Kebede, Gigi Hadid, Frank Ocean, Ben Harper, Maluma, and Miguel made way to their seats on Île de la Cité, another facet popped. The street’s green park benches, then filling quickly, were adorned with their own LV monogram prints. Claim by the house in detail was everywhere, and the show hadn’t even begun.
But when it did, boyhood flowed. Playful takes were seen on bags, hats, and vests, with many of them adorned with (or completely engulfed by) florals and foliage. The horticulture seen here served as a physical metaphor to boyhood—free in expression, metamorphotic. It also clings to the cityscape of Paris, and Place Dauphine in particular, which is a routine walk from the Louis Vuitton studios. Florals were then translated into prints—some flowers were blown up and organized in large boxes, others delicately danced on flowy tops and thin multi-layered coats, and some were collected in a large bunch to make a crocheted cutout-and-cropped sweater topper.
Pops of fuchsia, bright blue, and yellow stood out against a pastel palette of eggshell, lavender, and light green. Ponchos has built-in exterior zip pockets; hoodies (with a reimagined snake print) had pull ties that wrapped around the body mimicking a small harness; puffer vests and coats got a new “puff” shape, inspired by the house’s blossoming emblem; and box kites and triangular kites (yes, physical kites) were seen poking atop shoulders. For the seasons ahead, it’s apparent that new shapes, ideas, and beliefs are embraced. After all, where would menswear be without boyhood?