It goes without saying that at this point in the pandemic, we’re well beyond wanderlust; almost a year spent primarily indoors will make even the most ardent homebody long for distant climes. Apparently, Virgil Abloh isn’t immune to cabin fever, since the Louis Vuitton Menswear designer’s latest collection got fairly literal with its vision for Fall-Winter 2021-22—a still-too-far-off season when hopefully most of us will be vaccinated and once again safe to move about freely.
Abloh’s latest runway presentation took place in an undisclosed location closely resembling an upscale airport terminal, and his models were dressed to egress—and included the ever-elusive Yasiin Bey (also known as Mos Def), poet and actor Saul Williams, and artist, musician, and poet Blck Crckr. Bags and accessories emblazoned with mottos like “Tourist or Purist” and “Someplace Somewhere” accented an array of globally-influenced garb as kilts mixed and mingled with Kente and kimono stylings, and an array of travel-ready LV bags.
The message? “Anywhere but here.”
Since it’s Abloh, there was also a somewhat surrealist streak—or alternately, a nodding wink—running through the collection that we can only hope was intended to infuse some levity into the prolonged misery of quarantine. Yes, that is the entire Chicago skyline—a nod to Abloh’s hometown (and mine) rendered in 3-D and inexplicably (if somewhat awkwardly) wrapped around a jacket—and landmarks from Abloh’s adopted home of Paris wrapped around another. Because if you can’t go there...wear there???
Seriously, though—what exactly is going on here? And why? Oh, right—Abloh’s also a trained architect, and Chicago is well known as one of the great architectural destinations of the world, so there’s that. For the record, no there’s no LV-branded building in Chicago, so maybe that’s wishful thinking on the designer’s part...as is the absence of the city’s Trump Tower in this surrealist rendering (you love not to see it). That said, should we actually ever be able to get our traveling freak on again, we’re pretty sure this ain’t fitting in anybody’s carry-on.
It wasn’t all avant-garde, though; aside from a few odd but now-expected nods to his idol, Michael Jackson, Abloh offered up plenty of other visions for fall—evoking the newspaper- and “mad” men of the last century with his riffs on well-suited, fedora-wearing, coffee cup-clutching businessmen. All in all, the looks led us to suspect that like us, Abloh’s spent ample time digging into classic films during the quarantine, perhaps getting his Cary Grant, Gregory Peck and, likely, his Dick Tracy on.
Does the collection spark our wanderlust? Honestly, we’d be happy just to go just about anywhere at this point—even if we can’t recommend wearing your desired destination on your sleeve.