Conformity: the sociological endeavor of a person or a community to blend in or integrate with a societal culture to which they ought, desire or need to belong. Often, a concept rooted in luxury and privilege.
Periods of progress are followed by consolidation: a new normality. For the Pre-Fall 2021 Men’s Collection, Louis Vuitton investigates the mundane dress codes of an establishment in evolution. Banal by virtue, it is a traditional sartorial wardrobe inherited by some and aspirational to others. In his ongoing transformation of elitist codes into symbols of inclusivity, Men’s Artistic Director Virgil Abloh studies the luxury of normalcy – the state of being normal – and what conforming to it means in a post-2020 society. Underpinning old codes with new values, the collection portrays the comfort of a progressive conventionality inclusive to all: the mundane wardrobe re-appropriated for a new world order.
Back-to-work tailoring expressed in a boxy silhouette nods at a generational association with conformity. The conventional staple pieces of the men’s wardrobe are approached with riotous celebration: suits daubed in tie-dye galaxy monogram print, a caban restructured with an asymmetrical monogram leather panel, and a peacoat embossed with a techy Louis Vuitton logo along the sleeve. New takes on suits materialise with hooded or zipped jackets or in all-denim, while the decorative codes of eveningwear are evoked through the mid-layer. In casualwear, the bastions of the conventional wardrobe – the blouson, the cardigan, the shirt – are conveyed in a Damier salt print, fading and distorting the classic motif.
“Separate fashion from fiction” and “Don’t let your day job define you”
– archive quotes from the Vocabulary according to Virgil Abloh published seasonally as part of his Louis Vuitton practice – adorn garments throughout the collection. They appear as intarsia on a sweater, debossed on a leather blouson, and in outerwear on a unique fabric where the words become visible when the garment comes in contact with rain. Skater hats and caps – in leather, python or denim – and scarves are interpreted in the galaxy and Damier salt prints. In jewellery, the signature chain link pieces magnify in size and expand with opal finishes alongside existing metal textures. Next to Cuban chains, the collection introduces Around the World necklaces and bracelets with globe and trunk pendants.
Shoes twist the familiar in a clog derby in black leather, and buckled mules in black or monogram leather. The signature Louis Vuitton sneaker appears in a yellow and green contrast style. Bags interpret the Damier salt print on the classic coated canvas in indigo
with black leather trims, and in a stone-coloured version with tonal trimming. The collection introduces a new sling bag shape with signature metal rivets and leather corners, while a new messenger bag materialises in Macassar monogram with a utilitarian rubber base forged in pop-coloured LV letters. Finally, a series of leather bags in tonal black, animating some of the house’s most
Photographer – Jalan & Jibril Durimel