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Situated east of Beijing, the coastal destination of Aranya in China played host for the dreamlike experience of Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2023 Menswear Spin-Off presentation last Friday. Following the collection’s Parisian debut in June, where an enormous yellow track taking cues from a playground served as a runway, the house’s Studio Prêt-à-Porter Homme further delved into themes of childhood and discovery through an enormous landscape of sculptural figures and architectural structures build directly from the sand.
Leading up to the presentation—which featured the imaginative silhouettes previously introduced, with the inclusion of a few new styles—the house aired a film work titled Mirage, by the runway show’s directors, Jia Zhangke and Wei Shujun. Captured just on the outskirts of the Gobi Desert, it incorporated themes of community, discovery, and childhood, following a pair of children through a dust storm that settles with views of the sandcastle scenography on the beaches of Aranya. The presentation then began with a special performance choreographed by the Chinese dancer Hou Ying and a live score played by the instrumental group from Beijing, Sleeping Dogs.
Honoring the power of imagination and the minds that shape Louis Vuitton as it is today—especially that of the late Creative Director Virgil Abloh—looks featured playdough hues, cartoon prints, toy-inspired details, and the feeling that childlike wonder doesn’t have to fade with age. Seen between the enormous busts and skyline built from the sand, exaggerated proportions and playroom details were a nod to ‘90s skate fashion while keeping intact the maison’s elevated signature.
Styles seen for the first time at the spin-off included those like a graphic set composed of spacious shorts, a button-up shirt, and chunky white skate sneakers; a letterman jacket with neon details, white trousers with a zig-zagged hem, and an origami neck kerchief; and a new iteration of the SpeakerMan look featuring jeans with wobbly seams, lime green sneakers, a parka, and a giant backpack contraption loaded on all sides with portable speakers.