Virgil has done it again. In what was undoubtedly the highlight of Paris Fashion Week so far, the acclaimed visionary presented his 7th Louis Vuitton menswear show yesterday afternoon, in the form of a captivating short film, more than worthy of the big screen. Far more than just a design showcase, the film, directed by Mahfuz Sultan, takes the viewer on a unique, immersive journey, ridden with both succinct and explicit cultural references as well as eye-catching silhouettes throughout.
A prominent concept visited by Virgil within the show is the notion of generational growth and change, as he attempts to bridge the gap between old school and contemporary pop culture all amidst the visual experience. This is reflected in the inclusion of a fantastically constructed cast, featuring established cultural staples such as Goldie, Lupe Fiasco and Saul Williams, juxtaposed with some of the brightest sparks in the new generation of creativity, such as Lucien Clarke and Unknown T and Kai-Isaiah Jamal. Everything about the show, from the models, to the soundtrack, to the design, was carefully constructed to reflect and align perfectly with Virgil’s key sentiment. Not to mention the collaboration with Nike, consisting of 21 colourways of the iconic Air Force 1. The sneakers are all subtly adorned with the LV monogram and also feature Virgil’s OFF-WHITE signature quotation marks.
Abloh’s focus upon progression and transition is focussed around the title of the film, ‘Amen, Break’, which is derived from the most-sampled 6 second loop of music in history. The sample, originally taken from the track ‘Amen, Brother’ by The Winstons, provides the foundation for large parts of early hip-hop music, as well as drum and bass and jungle and has been utilised in over 1,500 songs across nearly every genre. For Virgil, this was an appropriate focal point for the spectacle, representative of versatility, interchangeability and the creation of new things from the old, 3 things that the designer has stuck by throughout his career.
Seemingly contradicting the notion of a fashion show, the clothing becomes solely supplementary to the broader story explored by Abloh within the showcase. Nonetheless, the looks did not disappoint, with the use of psychedelic colour schemes and kaleidoscopic glasses showing direct references to rave and jungle culture. These were accompanied by the unique, elegant tailoring that we all know and love from the LV house, as well as the iconic monogram, accompanied by street-style artwork of Jim Joe.
Virgil’s ever-willingness to push the boundaries of fashion as we know it was definitely a hit in this case, with every aspect of the production coming together as a cohesive and comprehensive spectacle. Louis Vuitton 7 was a blockbuster and we can’t wait to see what’s next from Abloh and the team.
WATCH THE FULL LOUIS VUITTON SS22 SHOW BELOW.