A look back at the Louis Vuitton Spring 2023 men’s fashion show
Arts and crafts
By Markus Wittmer
Virgil Abloh’s legacy at Louis Vuitton lives on, and the house’s Spring 2023 men’s collection – designed by its own studio collective rather than a single creative director – confirmed that the brand’s vision (at least when it comes to menswear) has learned a lot from the generosity and the Gained optimism from the late designer.
The collection formed one of the most vivid and direct expressions of Virgil Abloh’s visionary celebration of childhood and imagination, for which the Louis Vuitton Maison became a vehicle.
A world of color and imaginative iconography that explored and reiterated the limitless possibilities of childish play, worn by a legion of models striding down a Hot Wheels-esque catwalk, took shape over a base layer of heavy tailoring and hot selling streetwear staples trail.
Chunky beads reminiscent of necklaces assembled in elementary school crafts, leather versions of classic origami hats, suit jackets and trousers adorned with paper airplanes or scissors and glue.
Other less literal references to the world of gaming include oversized, crocodile-like clogs reminiscent of the shoes of retro cartoon characters, checkerboard patterns, bags shaped like a versatile cube, oversized proportions, and pop-art color blocking reminiscent of educational toys for the early childhood. A floral motif also runs through, echoing the springtime and its metaphorical connotations of youth, novelty and freshness.
Of course, the collection has been realized with a strong dedication to a different kind of craft – one might say the savoir-faire variant – bringing to life the fantasy behind these looks with skill and a wide range of techniques: jacquard, embroidery, Beadwork, crochet and unique knitting patterns to name a few. The strength of the Louis Vuitton atelier came into its own, even if the details were easily lost in the playful frenzy of colour.
While many details of childhood memory are forgotten, it is often the seemingly smallest details that stick with us, lending visual form and clarity to an elusive memory of a time that felt more optimistic, new and boundless. Reminding us to stop and smell the flowers, take time to play, Louis Vuitton enlivens that sense of wonder in all its vivid details.