Yes it was important. Yes, it was disruptive. Yes, it was somehow emotional. But no it wasn’t good. No, it wasn’t interesting. No, it wasn’t enough. But that’s what LVMH asked for, and that’s what they got. Pierre M’Pelé shares his views on Louis Vuitton Men’s SS19.
When Virgil Abloh was appointed artistic director responsible for the men’s line of Louis Vuitton, people interested in the matter immediately split into two groups. On one side, aesthetes with old-school convictions surviving in today’s global social media sphere. They are the ones who value good design; as in the actual act of making clothes. Against them stood a crowd of so-called modernists, for whom Virgil is akin Apollo God of Art.
Abloh’s knocked down almost all that is left of fashion’s establishment. He’s initiated changes that will impact the very fabric of the industry — mostly business strategies, communications and marketing methods. That that’s what seem to matters today. Any ridiculous product, as long as well marketed, can become the next sensation until it’s not any more — where’s your fidget spinner now? Abloh’s vision does that, it targets and strikes an audience that needs sensationalism, enrolling the youth in a cult of superficial hype. Part of said hype coming from the flocks of vacuous celebrities claiming he is the future of fashion. Kanye West, too, was of course in attendance and received a wet hug from Abloh post-show — cringeworthy.
As for the collection, who would’ve guessed Louis Vuitton could ever look cheap. The first part of the show consisted of white tailoring looks. There is no excuse for bad tailoring; it is the mother of menswear. Cuffs, lengths, armholes, lapels, there was always one or two wrongdoings. Then there was streetwear oddities including sneakers that will for sure sell out speedily. Other accessories took inspiration from the Steamer bag from 1901 which itself was inspired by Hermès’s Haut À Courroies from 1892. It would be unfair not to mention the Wizard of Oz poppies embroidered on a bomber jacket: it looked gorgeous.
This debut was called Color Theory, but one suspects that Abloh has never studied Goethe’s body of work. The colour palette didn’t covey a single emotion, it was emptiness at its utmost. Virgil Abloh isn’t a designer or an intellectual. He taps into the culture and knows how to extract coolness from anything. Perhaps it would be good for him to be under a designer’s tutorship for a while? Perhaps Samuel Ross of A-COLD-WALL could be that person.
For more information, see Louis Vuitton
Words by Pierre M’Pelé
Words by Pierre M’Pelé
All views are writer’s own.