TRANSLATION | Eugenia Yang
前些時日時尚傳奇 Virgil Abloh 的病逝，讓時尚界籠罩於一陣悲痛當中，即便路易威登2022春夏男裝 Spin-Off 大秀如期舉辦，但每個人都將此場大秀作為 Virgil Abloh 的最後一個告別作，並更名為更名為「Virgil was here.」一場心痛之餘的狂歡，敬畏之餘的無限喝采。
新年的開頭，許多人會告訴自己，將那些不盡人意的過去說再見，轉身又是可以從頭再來過的新生，新年新氣象，一切都會更加燦爛、更加美好。Louis Vuitton 2022 春夏男裝秀上，透過描繪童年時的畫面與故事來傳達 Virgil Abloh 渴望飛翔的單純童年，就如同他曾說：「我所做的一切都是為了那個17 歲的自己」。因此，我們可以看到大自然的落日畫布、自由飛翔的熱氣球與漂浮的駁船森林，彷彿看到了最天真的小男孩，用稚嫩的雙手打造屬於他的夢與理想——在這裡以不同角度檢視文化衝擊並蘊育新的次文化，再以典型的大眾要素結合嘻哈文化為核心主旨，重新詮釋了正裝西服與運動休閒之間的對比，消彌百年時裝屋與街頭的隔閡。路易威登主席與執行長 Michael Burke 其中也說道：「他不僅是我們的摯友、絕佳夥伴、創意天才、遠見與開創家，更是一位這個世代的文化溝通者，為未來世代鋪路。」 Virgil Abloh 的精神於前導片的非裔小男孩拉開序幕由秀末絢麗的煙火收場，像是與這位時尚傳奇的道別，更是將他的追尋夢想的無限精神封存。
懷抱著滿腔熱血，Louis Vuitton 男裝藝術總監 Virgil Abloh 在逝世之前仍然以和定義伸展台同樣的縝密分析著手準備早秋系列，對於服裝的熱愛總是盡心盡力的他，完成了2022早秋系列的拍攝工作，最終執掌的Louis Vuitton 2022早秋男裝正式登場。在 Virgil Abloh 的設計詞彙當中除了以童年為核心以外更是探討非裔文化、不受趨勢潮流影響、生活服飾等等根基與概念，此次他以「少年時代概念」揭開序幕，沒有了傳統的服裝規範，一向被貼上標籤的「正裝」、「工裝」或「街頭服飾」等服裝類型在衣櫃的未來展望中相互交流– 建立在真正的世代穿衣品味上。他同時也提到：「男裝的構成要素是什麼？男孩。我相信透過生活中相互堆積而成的構成要素定能描繪出定義男裝的故事。」令人玩味的是由藝術家Ghusto Leon所創作的塗鴉圖像，象徵著年輕無知，以剪絨織法、金銀絲提花、刺繡提升其質感，運用在源於養蜂業的帽子面罩上，巧妙玩轉專業與定義概念，完全體現了男孩與服裝規範的核心要素，也讓 Virgil Abloh 的精神延續、發光。
It is perhaps an understatement to say the fashion industry is still recovering from Virgil Abloh’s sudden passing in November. Louis Vuitton’s SS22 Men’s Spin-Off show was held as scheduled with the title “Virgil was here” — one simple sentence to encapsulate his legacy and pays tribute to one of the greatest designers the industry has had the honor to have.
It’s all about Boyhood
As we enter a new year, we bid farewell to any unsatisfying past and embrace the turning of a new leaf. At the Louis Vuitton SS22 Menswear show, we witnessed Abloh’s creative process and his idea of returning to this place of childlike wonder. “Everything I do is for the 17-year-old version of myself,” said Abloh. Therefore, from the sunset, the hot air balloon floated above and the scattering of birch trees, it is as if a naive young boy had designed the show venue. Here, we were able to view the clashing of cultures from a different perspective and witness the birth of a new subculture. Abloh once again combined archetypes with hip-hop culture and recontextualized the binary clash between suits and tracksuits by eliminating the gap between fashion houses and streetwear. The chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, Michael Burke remembered the designer: “Virgil was not only a friend, great collaborator, creative genius, visionary and disruptor, but also one of the best cultural communicators of our times. He paved the way for future generations.” Starting with the film Amen Break and ending with the dazzling fireworks, the runway show was a fitting send-off for Abloh, an encapsulation of his legendary spirit and ambitious dreams.
Driven by his dedication to craft, Abloh still completed and photographed Louis Vuitton’s 2022 Pre-Fall Menswear collection before his passing, which will become the designer’s official last show. The looks are all about the late creative’s “boyhood ideology” and the exploration of Black culture and trendless fashion. The collection also allows us to consider what happens when the garments in our closets are stripped of labels like formal wear, work wear or even streetwear. “What makes menswear? Boys do. I believe that building blocks stacked upon each other through our lives form the narrative of what defines menswear.” A symbol of the youth’s naïveté, the graffitied suits, workwear and even the veiled-beekeeper hat are all adorned with Milan-based artist Ghusto Leon’s creations. In treatments like fil coupe, jacquard and embroidery, the pieces reimagine the concept of formality and traditional menswear. By making the unconventional accessible and the essential timeless, Abloh’s spirit is once again celebrated and immortalized. Virgil was definitely here.