The Covid-19 pandemic has deprived us of normality in everyday life and fashion has a lot to say about it. The show in Shanghai of the Louis Vuitton Men’s Spring-Summer 2021 by Virgil Abloh collection proves this in many aspects.
First in the transformation of fashion thinking: that streetwear label “which Virgil Abloh first freely adopted and then rejected”, reads the collection note, becomes a new expression of everyday life because “it represents and characterizes clothes and the way we wear it today ». So, anything can be streetwear, even the classic jacket-pants-shirt dress, that bourgeois uniform that they mistakenly tried to break down with sweatshirts and sneakers and that instead needs to be reinvented. Abloh urges men not to be defined by the work they do “We need to neutralize the old world’s rules to reclaim and re-embrace a progressive joie de vivre”.
The creation of this Louis Vuitton Men’s SS21 collection has a very special story because it all started during the worldwide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Abloh conceives a path: the collection will be composed by four methods of upcycling (reconditioning and reuse): some looks will be new and made of recycled materials, others will be reinterpretations of looks presented for autumn-winter 2020, other looks will come from what the style office freely designed and prepared during the lockdown but always with reused materials, and finally other looks created from pre-existing ideas. The basic idea is to reuse the existing, in an ideological and practical form of a very widespread feeling that has also become a new frontier of sustainability.
But this time also requires new forms of presentation. Here then comes an animated film, The adventures of Zooom with friends. A group of friends who somehow takes possession of the new rhythm of time that collects and selects. The adventure start in Paris, in the home of the founder of Louis Vuitton in Asnière, a place of origin, where they bring together suggestions and provocations that they put into containers that start traveling along the Seine, reaching the sea, crossing the oceans and landing in Shanghai, the first stage of the live shows which will continue in Tokyo (last stage) on September 2.
And in Shanghai, on a dock on the Huangpu River, a surrealist show comes to life in which giant seagulls and soft clouds become the set for a collection that redesigns the rituality of the dress in the belief that if you will never be able to make streetwear a fashion, the dress itself will become the widespread streetwear. Very elaborate fabrics, Lucio Fontana inspired cuts, prints that reproduce the skies of René Magritte’s paintings, shirts, and ties with the same striped fabric, duffle coats, furs, overcoats, sweatshirts, Damier fabrics that make up entire looks including shoes, fuchsia saharanians. And many, many suits that demonstrate how the bourgeois man’s worldly uniform can also become a symbol of handmade and creativity.