Understanding the Louis Vuitton FW21 Show
Going off solely on the amazing video presentation, I’m going to be pretty straight forward. What I see is a story, where the clothes play like a secondary role. Basically, This part revolves more around the marvelous architectural surroundings, decor pieces and the story than the actual runway pieces.
I get it though, what Abloh has created is a feast for the eyes and great stories make everything better.
Showcased in a high standard architectural pinnacle in a village between Paris and Switzerland, Virgil Abloh has displayed an insanely interesting and multi-referenced collection through a compact movie, named ‘Ebonics’. References being taken from his interests in poetry, dance, music and film. For this show in particular, Abloh based this compact movie on James Baldwin’s 1953 essay; ‘Stranger in the village’, in which he describes how it felt to be looked at in the midst of white culture as a Black American artist in Switzerland. Check the show below, let me know what you think about the show.
Now, let’s take a deeper dive within the (political) subjects which run like a thread through this show. Firstly, Abloh contours the unconscious biases still instilled in the brain of the society and the intellectual purpose of Black consciousness. ‘As Black people, trans people, as marginalized people, the world is here for our taking, for it takes so much from us’. By Saul Williams and Kai Isaiah Jamal.
Secondly, this show has got a great amount of references from his African heritage. The colors, the patterns, the cloth are absolutely beautiful. Moreover, he wanted to implement parts of his memory from his parents within the collection. Too powerful. Abloh told a source: ‘When I grew up, my father wore Kente cloth, with nothing beneath it, to family weddings, funerals, graduations. When he went to an American wedding, he wore a suit. I merged those together, celebrating my Ghanaian culture’, he said. ‘She was the one who taught me how to sew; and she learned it with a tailor in Ghana’, said Abloh, telling about his mother and how she influenced him. He referenced the pattern of the print on the green and white motocross suit from a fabric his mom had when he was growing up.
The third point I want to tip on is about the slogan ‘Tourist vs Purist’. He wrote this slogan when he started his job as creative director at Louis Vuitton. In Abloh’s poetic way of speaking he explained: ‘A tourist is someone who’s eager to learn, who wants to see the Eiffel Tower when they come to Paris. The purist is the person who knows everything about everything’. An accurate explanation for an interesting slogan. Abloh’s ambition to educate is admirable to say the least.
The collection itself is beautiful and bold. With the clean cuts, different colors and textiles, it has a multitude of elegant propriety. Go seek for yourself, below I’ll list my favorite looks from the show, in no particular order.
By Kevin Vergeer