A live performance from a thorn-crowned Kendrick Lamar, Tallahassee’s Florida A&M University’s marching band plus flag bearers carrying LV flags down a real-life Yellow Brick World in the the courtyard of the Louvre – Louis Vuitton was determined to take us as far away from Kansas as possible with their Spring Summer 2023 Men’s collection that was both a fitting farewell for the late Virgil Abloh and a line that marks a new chapter for the brand’s future.
During Abloh’s tenure as artistic director for Louis Vuitton, Abloh transformed the maison’s heritage for travel into a philosophy. One where dreaming was the greatest adventure in a world where imagination had no limits. Everything, from music to art to architecture to science, was a source of wonder or fascination and could be woven into the LV DNA. For Abloh, creativity was a chance to play with reality. It makes sense then that the Spring Summer 2023 show, the first collection from the maison’s Men’s Studio that was created without Abloh’s presence or oversight, would then instead be a celebration of the joyful exuberance that marked Abloh’s time at Louis Vuitton and provide an insight into how this might shape its future.
And celebration it was. The message that anything is possible in the world of Vuitton was apparent in the literal playground that became the runway and stitched into every garment – whether in the form of paper planes on suiting, hand-crocheted LV flowers or the Peter Pan-esque zig zag cut of the pants leg. Garments became a map through the landscape of the Louis Vuitton Men’s Studio’s imagination, signposted by all the sartorial expertise and couture heritage including a breathtaking 18th-century French motif moulded into a jacket.
At the show’s finale, the entirety of the Men’s Studio took to the runway behind the marching band. After a show that combined the best of their heritage while providing an insight into the infinite potential of Louis Vuitton’s future under the next name they chose to take the helm, it was the perfect way to mark the passing of the torch when it finally happens.