“Peculiar Contrast, Perfect Light”
The Louis Vuitton show storyline takes its point of departure in archetypes: the Artist, the Salesman, the Architect, the Drifter, etc. Defining the ‘normal’ characters of society, Virgil Abloh investigates the presumptions we make about people based on the way they dress: their cultural background, gender, and sexuality.
The collection strives to illuminate and neutralise the prejudice we create around people by keeping the dress codes related to certain archetypes, but changing the human values we associate with them. The message is humanitarian: creating the same opportunities, dreams, and freedom for children of all races, genders and sexualities when asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
The collection’s themes are reflected in James Baldwin’s essay Stranger in the Village from 1953, which informs the presentation – a performance art piece. The essay Stranger in the Village deals with the parallels between Baldwin’s experiences as an African-American man in a Swiss village and his life in America. Baldwin’s essay also deals with what it feels like to be a Black artist in a world of art created from a white European perspective.
The collection remains faithful to the Upcycling Ideology first launched by Louis Vuitton and Virgil Abloh for the Spring-Summer 2021, exercising different ideas of upcycling throughout.