For the Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2022 collection, Virgil Abloh renews and remixes the old and familiar, recontextualising cultures and subcultures – exemplifying the artistic instinct of examining and analysing a core design to create new interpretations. His intent was conveyed through an innovative play on the juxtaposition between “formal” and “street” and that of gender. Influences of hip-hop, martial arts and chess are also infused into the collection.
Directed by Mahfuz Sultan, the film featured GZA, Goldie, Saul Williams, Issa Perica, Caleb Femi, JIM JOE, Kandis Williams, Thelma Buabeng, Octavia Burgel, Lupe Fiasco, Julian Eugene Tsukasa Williams, Damian Eugene Nagisa Williams, Shabaka Hutchings and Malik Le Nost, alongside a broad cast of talent. The moving picture explores ideas of transmission: the act of passing something from one person to another, activating waves of change across generations, and impacting the lives of others.
As a synopsis, “The Amen Break” tells the story of a father and son united by an unnamed loss, crossing a dream world to deliver a message to the other side. Through their quest, supportive heroes emerged to guide the child through adversity. The film reflects on a historic moment in Black art and culture and is an abstract interpretation of the story of fine artist and rapper Lupe Fiasco.
Through Abloh’s exploration of juxtapositions, the collection sees the graphics of chess informing various motifs while the physical form of the game manifests in silhouettes through skirts, hats and gloves. And yes, skirts. Blurring the gender divide and eradicating gender labels on garments, the collection infused archetypical women’s silhouettes with traditional men’s garments. In that transition, dresses, skirts, and kilts linked to cultural or subcultural expressions of empowerment and strength manifest naturally in silhouettes.
And speaking of idiosyncratic constructions, an icon of rave dressing, the tracksuit, is juxtaposed with the tailored suit – redefining “formal” and “street” styles. By hybridising their properties, the collection de- and recodes the human preconceptions tied to these pieces. Who is to say a man in a suit is more trustworthy than those in streetwear.
The collection rounds up with a plethora of ready-to-wear nodding to the rave culture and martial arts.
Collaborations in the Collection
The collection witnessed collaborations with Metalheadz and visual artist JIM JOE across ready-to-wear pieces and bags. However, the partnership that stole the limelight has got to be the long-awaited LV x Nike collab. A slew of Air Force 1s was reworked with Louis Vuitton’s logo and material. Alongside the trainers, a sneaker trunk in the iconic monogram calf leather and a white Nike swoosh is also part of the collection.
(Images: Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2022)