Louis Vuitton often frequents the intrigue of ‘what if’. In the radiant FW23 menswear presentation, every sensation tingles with possibilities: the intoxication of dreams, the longing for something new, and the intangible experienced as tangible. With the dawn of a new era arising from the legacy of the house’s late-artistic director Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton brings forth a new meaning to the question this season by asking: what if we brought everyone together?
FW23 sees an ensemble of talents coming together to forge a new creative community within the Maison. Designed by the Louis Vuitton Studio Prêt-à-Porter Homme, the collection was embedded with the ideas and concepts of the American designer Colm Dillane, who lends his hand to crafting a splendid array of works never-before-seen in the history of Louis Vuitton as the house’s first guest designer.
The production of the new collection renders escapism in gleaming tones. Colm Dillane’s usual eccentricity translates effortlessly as it vibrated on screen-printed graphics, turning each look into a surrealist treasure trove. On coats, the phrase ‘blurry vision of a bright future’ is cinched on the waist in a trompe-l’œil effect, while gauzed eyes haunt on signature cuts of the house’s DNA tailoring, which were re-established through epitomising the adult sartorial look from a young adults’ perspective. And it is not all an extreme case of style over substance. Each look ponders on a deep meaning, a hallucinatory criticism of our ever-more expanding digital age, letting its meaning drift weightlessly by our interpretations.
The whole collection brings to mind experimental pioneers such as Kenneth Anger and Man Ray from start to end. It becomes even more so when one learns that the show design and its cinematic prelude were directed by French filmmakers and Cannes veterans, Michel Gondry and Olivier Gondry, whose works include Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Minds and The Science Of Sleep. Spanish singer Rosalía was placed in charge of crafting the show’s soundtrack, which played out in scenes of the film and show scored by a live musical curation.
While there has been a lot of speculation towards who will take the lead of the Maison, it becomes clear that Louis Vuitton is not one to rush. What we see here is no less an experimentation of what its future might hold. And as seasons come, the question of ‘what if’ will definitely remain.