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Entering the Carré du Sanglier at Jardin des Tuileries in Paris to attend the Louis Vuitton Men’s Fall/Winter 2020 presentation was like stepping into a dream-meets-The Truman Show: the floor and walls were painted as a blue sky covered in spongy, soft clouds and the set featured a sculptural tree and some tools like scissors and spools of thread referencing the craftsmanship that goes behind the beautiful clothes. Then, the models descended the stairs rocking Virgil Abloh’s newest collection, which surprised many of the attendees as it was his personal take on shirting and suiting, something different from what we’re used to seeing from the house’s artistic director.

As the show note reads, “through the contemporary breakdown of dress codes, the popular idea of streetwear calls for a redefinition of the term itself.” And that’s precisely what Abloh has done: redefine your dad’s serious, boring suit and turn it into something fun and modern. All of this, of course, with the savoir-faire and artisanal qualities that define the French luxury house. “Tailoring and the tepered silhouette – the firm symbols of convention, trade and success – depart their corporate comfort zone”, the note continues. How? In many different forms, shapes, colours and techniques: from a hot pink suit – the colour was also present in other pieces like shirts and jumpers, or accessories like bags and gloves – to a couple of others with dramatic ruffles, to others in powder blue cloud print with embossed monogram (artistically matching the dreamy setting), in colour gradients, or deconstructed. The suit is the new hot piece, but not (only) to go work at a bank or law firm.

Shirts also got interesting makeovers with fun prints, deconstructed silhouettes and strategic cutouts. The playfulness of the suits and shirts also translated into the accessories. Some of the most interesting pieces were the curved-shaped bags, like the Keepall and Steamer, or others with irregular forms and furry monograms, which, just like the tailoring and shirting, give the more classical pieces a breath of fresh air and modernity. Derby and lace-up shoes also featured detachable accessories that made them a bit less casual, making the entire looks and collection extremely cohesive and coherent. If athleisure and full-look tracksuits are receding, then it’s one of the trend’s most emblematic representatives who’s making this change happen. And he’s making it with a special attention to detail, craftsmanship and modernity. For that, bravo to Virgil Abloh.

Arnau Salvadó

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