Designer Virgil Abloh presents ‘‘Ebonics/ Snake Oil / The Black Box/ Mirror, Mirror’’ fancy video for Louis Vuitton Fall 2021 in Paris.
After lots of cheaply made indie designer efforts, the Vuitton video began with soaring shots of an Alpine fastness, before segueing into a series of handsome figure skaters and office workers in grand office buildings made principally of green marble. Salary men, nearly all of whom were black.
Like the initial backdrop, the silhouette soared too. For fall 2021, the house’s menswear designer Virgil Abloh wants the Vuitton man to don ankle-length coats, with buttons in the shape of an intercontinental airplane, all topped by looming fedoras or cowboy hats, finished with broad silk bands.
His dapper gentleman leader then carried a silver faux metal empreinte monogram briefcase into the techy office building. Where his colleagues strolled about in many and varied coats – from a gray Crombie made in inside-out in patterns mimicking classical canvas construction; or classic trenches composed in silver-stamped trench coats.
Stand-out looks included: a business suit made in see-through plastic and paired with a bright yellow tote reading ‘Tourist V Purist’; or a monogram parka in steely felt wool. And, above all, a series of broken painterly plaids used in kilts, jean jackets and spy coats.
The fashion presentation takes place at the Tennis Club de Paris against a modernist set.
Quite why one chap lay fast asleep against the green marble walls as if nursing a hangover was hard to fathom. Many office workers carried fake newspapers under their arms; with obvious headlines like ‘Extra! Extra!,’ his CEO circling the lobby reciting out the names of heroes and historical incidences, from Ginsburg and Baldwin to Kennedy and Gandhi or Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Entitled ‘Ebonics/ Snake Oil / The Black Box/ Mirror, Mirror’ the show “investigates the unconscious bias instilled in our collective psyche by the archaic norms of society,” according to the Vuitton show notes. All inspired by James Baldwin’s essay Stranger in the Village about an African-American’s experiences of living in a Swiss hamlet. Abloh’s program even contained a photo of his Ghanaian maternal grandmother, a proud lady in traditional costume called Hellen Adei Ashie. And the latest A to Z from the designer included the following entry on his father Nee Abloh: “he migrated to Rockford, Illinois in 1971 where he was hired by a paint company. Nee taught his son the importance of keeping your head down, working hard and staying persistent.”
Looks like that piece of advice paid off.
See full fashion presentation at: