Virgil Abloh presented his sixth Louis Vuitton men’s collection titled EBONICS which happened live at Tennis Club de Paris on Thursday, 21st January 2021. The presentation went with a fashion film: ”Peculiar Contrast, Perfect Light” directed by Wu Tsang, which was expressed in poetry, music and dance featuring an all-star cast with the likes of Yasiin Bey, Malik Le Nost, Kai Isaiah Jamal playing a special part to make it happen, and of course Saul Williams who performed in the final act of the latest Fall 2021 menswear collection as a multi-disciplinary artistic performance which contained spoken words thematically informed by James Baldwin’s essay ”Stranger in the Village”. Exploring themes of ownership through the figurative notion of the art heist.
The Louis men’s artistic director posted on his Instagram page, ”usually I have run-on sentences for days but today I don’t. My whole being has been poured into this film here, the only thing important to me right now is that the names in the credits and every member of my Louis Vuitton team feels their genius. It’s not just fashion or films we make, it’s space for new stories and artworks to be placed”. It was worth hearing and quite significant because the show was an aesthetic experience.
Details from the collection which was styled by the amazing Ibrahim Kamara revolved around classic forms reimagined, this includes iconic monogram motif, reinterpreted codes, cultural heritage, reversing connotations, textural illusions and exclamatory accessories. Like a man-made myth though, it was ripe for reinvention. Virgil employed fashion as a tool to change the predetermined perception of dress codes. He defies society’s established cultural structure to create something eccentric and unconventional.
Showing splendour with African draped wraps, floor-length coats, easy slim tailoring, Western hats and kilts, the presentation was live-streamed over the Internet it was pretty powerful to watch. The collection aesthetically imbued new meaning into uniforms of archetypal characters. Top male models rocked clean tailoring outfits carrying Louis Vuitton keepall and tote bags on the runway, with a couple of others dressed in wrap-like garments in sync with the designer’s Ghanaian culture and heritage. Specifically clear, this presentation remains one of Abloh’s best collections since he became men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton in 2018.