Streetwear is a label freely adopted and rejected by Virgil Abloh. Through the contemporary breakdown of dress codes, the popular idea of streetwear calls for a redefifinition of the term itself. Today, streetwear characterises the clothes we actually wear and the way we wear them. For the Louis Vuitton Fall-Winter 2020 collection, men’s artistic director Virgil Abloh studies the evolving anthropology of the suit and the reprogramming of traditional dress
codes. Tailoring and the tapered silhouette – the fifirm symbols of
convention, trade and success – depart their corporate comfort zone: twisted and turned, the dress codes of an old world are neutralised, re-appropriated and embraced for a progressive joie de vivre. Don’t let your day job defifine you.
Employing his evolving premise of boyhood at Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh investigates the lifelong relationship formed by adolescent and young men with shirting and suiting. It is material and fifigurative exercise in freedom, presented within the familiar constrictions of tailoring. Surrealism is the instinctive act of making the ordinary extraordinary. The abstraction of the familiar expands our routine horizons and makes us see the world through
unfazed eyes. Virgil Abloh applies the mechanics of the surreal to rewind the clock on our collective age-inflflicted comprehension. Gazing at the world through the optics of a child – of an adolescent or a young man – is tantamount to fifirst impressions, to the purity of mind and the refreshing optimism of naivety. The turn of a decade heralds an appetite for fresh motivations.
Through a childlike perspective, the phenomena and traditions we take for granted are invigorated and elevated. Hovering over our heads like the ceiling of an age-old chapel or an everlasting fifilm set, the clouds in the sky appear dreamlike and infifinite: Heaven on Earth. Broken clocks, engineered to spin backwards, are still right twice a day. The suit – a man’s mundane corporate uniform – is de- and recoded into a symbol of craft and creativity. As part of the set in the Jardin des Tuileries, the traditional tools of the artisan are magnifified into lionised sculptures; the icons of tradition honoured and changed with equal enjoyment.