Men’s – Positivity. Louis Vuitton SS20

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It’s Virgil Abloh‘s third season at men’s Louis Vuitton, and probably his best. For the spring-summer 2020 show, the brand held it in the real-life, cobbled streets and cafes of the Place Dauphine. The audience sat under trees on Louis Vuitton park benches or sipped a glass of champagne at outdoor tables. The view? A collection of easy, big shapes, flowing pants, real flowers stuck into harnesses and some really good outerwear. People like Dev Hynes of Blood Orange were part of the show’s casting, which made it even more intriguing. Of course, there were some similiarities to Craig Green’s garments in these wearable, geometric constructions that closed the show, but the collection’s main focus was on couture-level craftsmanship. Flower embroideries climbed up tulle coats, and a couple of immensely luxe iterations of hoodies, made from minutely pleated chiffon. “I’m learning, and taking much more of a couture approach”, he told the press after the show. It was a collection oozing with pure positivity, from the delicious pastel colour palette to the flower power elements.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Time Travel. Louis Vuitton Resort 2020

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Nicolas Ghesqière seems to be not over his love for the past decades. Louis Vuitton‘s resort 2020, which was presented at the historic TWA Flight Center in New York (the fantastic space, renovated for years and soon to be open as a hotel, was designed by Eero Saarinenback  in 1962), was all about the past: 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, combined with Elizabethan NYC’s art deco heritage. Which again reminds us that fashion, unfortunately, has problems with finding inspiration anywhere else. But back to the collection. Stewardess dresses and Chrysler-Building-inspired bags; 1980’s big sleeves and combat boots of the 1990s; Catwoman skullcaps and pantsuits of Wall Street. Highlight? Marte Mei van Haaster’s strass-lined caped crop-top. But in general, not a fan of this collection.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

80s. Louis Vuitton AW19

Nicolas Ghesquière‘s autumn-winter 2019 collection for Louis Vuitton was an ode to self-expression, but also, a clear nod to the 1980s. You loved it or hated it. With a faux Centre Pompidou facade built inside of Louvre’s Cour Carrée (yes, one mega-museum of Paris in another), the whole scene was time transporting. Eccentric and eclectic, the jackets had big shoulders, skirts were over-the-knee and prints made you think of the Memphis Group. The leather skullcaps and colourful riding boots are here for a go-kart race. The most convincing looks were the ones near the finale: high-waisted pants, over-sized blazers and leather ties (they made think of Hedi Slimane’s last season debut at Celine, though…). Can’t say this collection is a favourite of mine, but it was a closing statement of Paris fashion week: the past is today’s fashion favourite sandpit to play in.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Global. Louis Vuitton AW19

Virgil Abloh‘s second season at men’s Louis Vuitton. I’m not a fan of Abloh’s aesthetic in general, and I never really got the point of Off-White’s hype. But, his work at Vuitton is somewhat ‘profound’. It’s global. But not solely in the sense of more store openings, more celebrities wearing LV (even though those boxes are all checked, of course). The designer looks at the term ‘cultural diversity’ and bravely nods to it in his work. And, while Louis Vuitton is a huge platform, talking about important matters through clothes and events is more than respectful. For autumn-winter 2019, Virgil looked to the late Michael Jackson, setting the scene on a replica of New York street seen in the ‘Billie Jean’ video. Music is always the key for Virgil (who you surely know is also a free-lance DJ). Dev Hynes (!) and Ian Isiah performed new songs. Other than that, there was a live graffiti installation. This wasn’t a stiff fashion show, but a vibrant performance. Models weaved through the ‘street’ wearing flag print, intarsia fur coats and collars, tour-merch-style t-shirts, embellished jumpers and monogram embossed duvet jackets (their super-inflated effect looked impressive in leather). Jackson-inspired beaded, white gloves and jackets appeared as well. There are pieces that will disappear from the shelves immediately (like the over-sized jackets and bold bags) and garments that need more fashion courage (like the multi-layered blazers and pleated skirt-pants). I won’t say it’s a favourite for me, but you definitely can’t ignore this outing.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.