With a distinct ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’ vibe, the set for Louis Vuitton today was, to say the least, disconcerting. Immersed in a cloud-filled dreamland, we were confronted with rulers, pins, scissors, pencils, and a tree trunk that had a ladder to escape through the ceiling. Perhaps an allegory for the pressures under which creative director Virgil Abloh finds himself? After all, the invitation was a clock altered to make time go backward.
However, despite the alarm bells, the collection was the best that Abloh has presented thus far under his tenure at Louis Vuitton. Exquisite suiting opened the show, segueing into Abloh-esque re-interpretations with softer sartorial takes on those now-familiar armored and gun holster staples. A beautiful take on the tailoring and suiting was achieved through the use of a type of suspended cut-out, gravity-defying technique that saw the floating pieces of fabric form perfectly realized suits and outerwear. It was simple, yet effective, surprising, and innovative — the reason Abloh was appointed in the first place. The moment that it all made perfect sense was the shirt and tie embedded into an overcoat. At that point, the meaning became clear: We are not just built for working, our lives must take a front seat.
The fantasy reappeared with frills that fell around waistbands and decorated jackets unexpectedly with post-flamenco nonchalance, before the final exits: a cloud print extravaganza, replete with cyborg metal face applications. A decidedly retro-futuristic statement that led us to believe that even our dreams are somehow controlled.
The exit for the boys, and Abloh’s appearance for the finale, was a doorway up a staircase that broke through the clouds. When it was open there was a hint of something else behind. It reminded us of that final scene in The Truman Show when Truman realizes his whole life is a sham, and he’s aware that ‘there’s more to life than this’ And Abloh seems to know this more than most — he is giving us a glimpse into the possibilities beyond.