Louis Vuitton presented its menswear FW23 collections overnight in Paris, as guests witnessed the unveilings of KidSuper founder Colm Dillane – a guest co-designer for the FW23 collection – and the in-house Louis Vuitton Studio Prêt-à-Porter Homme team, most of whom worked under the late Virgil Abloh during his tenure as Creative Director.
The show, directed by the French filmmakers Michel Gondry and Olivier Gondry, took the viewers through the most relatable story: growing up. The rites of passage from childhood to adolescence and adulthood; as a teenage bedroom eventually turns into a mid-century modern living room, this central idea connects us all. The show began with a surprise performance from Spanish singer Rosalia, setting the backdrop to what was an electrifying presentation.
As the collections unfolded, it was clear that Louis Vuitton’s design team, helmed by Colm for this specific show, was trying to tell a story. As per show notes, the collections exemplfied “the adolescent feeling of wanting, or sometimes having, to grow up fast.” We saw loose, boxy yet fluid cuts designed as a “mock-mature tailoring silhouette reminiscent of a young man’s idea of paternal masculinity.”
Dubbed “Louis Lifewear”, the garments presented the idea a boy has when growing up, of work and of sportswear – we saw saw “a traditionally ‘manly’ shape imbued with the spirit of the inner child.” The garments are abstact and not quite what they should be, but rather different versions of an adult sartorial look.
Suits and denim are featured throughout, with a textured “fil-chenille” that forms a blown-up image of an eye only visible through a camera lens. What that often results in is a blurry image to the human eye taking the photo, so we’re given blurry emblazoned writing on suitwear.
With a focus on our generation’s computerised interaction – and how that sometimes helps forms human connection – we see a focus of this notion in the suits, bags and handkerchiefs presented, all of which were created with Colm Dillane, and “structured from fragments of leather printed with scans of real letters written by members of the Studio in the multitude of languages of their nationalities.”
While many were expecting the Maison to reveal the long-awaited announcement of Virgil Abloh’s successor, no such annoucment was made. But in saying that, judging by the success of Colm Dillane’s input in the FW23 collection, perhaps he would be the logical fit going forward. Watch this space.
In other fashion news, here are some of our highlights from Men’s Milan Fashion Week.