Virgil Abloh once again presents a rich discourse full of cultural and historical nuances
Perhaps unsurprisingly—but still amazingly—Louis Vuitton’s latest menswear show is a tour de force of cultural nuances intertwined in a rich collection featuring everything from chess and rave motifs to martial art references. The Louis Vuitton Men Spring/Summer 2020 collection was showcased in a film titled “Amen Break.” It was directed by Mahfuz Sultan and featured a stellar cast with the likes of GZA, Goldie, Saul Williams, Issa Perica, Caleb Femi, JIM JOE, Kandis Williams, Thelma Buabeng, Octavia Burgel, Lupe Fiasco, Julian Eugene Tsukasa Williams, Damian Eugene Nagisa Williams, Shabaka Hutchings and Malik Le Nost.
In short, “Amen Break” tells the story of a father and son who face loss, the challenges and supporting heroes met during a quest to deliver a message, journeys and battles—all in an abstract world influenced by the story of American fine artist and rapper Lupe Fiasco as well as historical moments from black art and culture in the States.
As for the collection itself, it has—as mentioned earlier—a rich cast of main and supporting elements. There are rave motifs, martial arts, tracksuits (an icon of rave dressing), chess, British recording label Metalheadz, the works of New York visual artist JIM JOE and more.
On a more practical note, the ready-to-wear pieces in the collection also feature airbrushing (again, a nod to the “dress code” of ravers) on hand-painted T-shirts and embossed monogram leather pieces, check motifs, crochet as trims or panels, floral images, landscape images woven on jacquards or printed on denim, etc.
Naturally, there is a strong showing of accessories as well, with a variety of new belt buckles, animal-shaped clasps in hand-enameled metal, facemasks in mesh, hockey gloves and soccer socks, a wide range of hats and various headgear, along with sunglasses that are yet another strong element of rave culture. A wide array of footwear—from Chelsea boots with neon contrast-soles to bespoke Air Force 1 trainers created in collaboration with Nike—were also displayed prominently.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper Louis Vuitton collection without a strong showing from the bags department. There are 3D bags in crocodile leather airbrushed with soundwaves, glitter bags, padded fish-shaped bags in multicolor padded leather, trunk l’oeil bags adapting archival pieces and more.
As the proverbial cherry on top, through the Louis Vuitton Men Spring/Summer 2020 collection and its themes of positive change, Virgil Abloh expands his active commitment to Louis Vuitton’s partnership with UNICEF, which includes—among others—the Reimagine Education and Generation Unlimited initiatives in Ghana.
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