Virgil Abloh presented his latest collection for Louis Vuitton during a livestream event on YouTube early Thursday, showcasing the brand’s menswear Fall/Winter 2021 offering in a collection he named ‘Ebonics.’
“Usually I have run-on sentences for days,” Abloh wrote on Instagram, “but today I don’t. My whole being has been poured out into this film here. The only thing important to me right now is that the names in the credits and every member of my team feels their genius. It’s not just fashion or films we make, it’s space for new stories and artworks to be placed.” Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton designer.
“Within my practice, I contribute to a Black canon of culture and art and its preservation. This is why, to preserve my own output, I record it at length.”
The film—dubbed “Peculiar Contrast, Perfect Light”—was inspired by the essay “Stranger in the Village” by James Baldwin, in which he writes about his experience living in a Swiss village and his life in America as a black man. The live event was held at the Tennis Club in Paris, against a stunning modernist set of emerald marble projections.
The Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2021 collection feels fresh, revived, and reflective of the world we live in today, all while examining the “unconscious biases instilled in our collective psyche by the archaic norms of society.”
The collection features a combination of classic design elements and more boundary-pushing ones. There was plenty of suiting and accessories—which has always been the baseline for Louis Vuitton—including metal-tipped shoes and a mirrored bag covered with the LV logo. We saw androgynous looks come to life with men wearing skirts and tights, over-the-elbow leather gloves.
The collection also features a number of plaids, striped, and flowing overcoats, chromed-out suitcases, and an assortment of eye-catching tote bags. Abloh recreates the brand’s iconic Keepall bag, incorporating a Cuban link-inspired handle in one piece. Also, Abloh’s Attache bag incorporates a neon effect on the “classic Epi leather.” In one of the more daring pieces, Abloh turns a monogram bag into the shape of an airplane.
For an even more refreshing take, Abloh brings the Kente cloth to the design table as he seems to explore his African heritage in parallel to his position as a Black American creative director building an impressive career in Europe. “When I grew up, my father wore Kente cloth, with nothing beneath it, to family weddings, funerals, graduations,” he said. “When he went to an American wedding, he wore a suit. I merged those two together, celebrating my Ghanaian culture.” Virgil Abloh shares with Vogue. As seen on his designs, he added LV patterns to the Kente fabric, pairing it with unconventional partners like draping it over an athleisure outfit. He also shared that the diagonal green-on-white print seen on a leather motocross suit is “a memory of the wax print fabric my mom had around the house when I was growing up.” “She was the one who taught me to sew; and she had learned it with a tailor in Ghana.” He added.
Speaking on the Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2021 collection, Abloh says, “Within my practice, I contribute to a Black canon of culture and art and its preservation. This is why, to preserve my own output, I record it at length.”
Louis Vuitton FW21 Menswear Collection
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WATCH: Louis Vuitton FW21 Menswear Collection
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