The structure of a jacket situated gendred elements, classic overcoats like oversized sweaters, phosphorescent fabrics that lends with it the appearance of movement... At Louis Vuitton’s Spring Summer 2021 show last night, a chameleon-like, hybrid element was at the forefront.
At a time when gender structures within fashion are increasingly put into the forefront, Louis Vuitton presented a vision for a gender neutral future.
The collection was presented beneath the glass house of La Samaritaine, a recently renovated 150-year-old department store owned by LVMH, at the top floor where the peacock frescoes are situated.
More interestingly, Nicolas Ghesquière delivered a virtual reality experience for viewers tuning in online. 360-degree cameras allowed viewers to watch models coming and going, while green screens which surrounded in-person guests, provided an interactive, personalized perspective featuring footage from the Wim Wenders’ classic film Wings of Desire (1987), which tells a story of angels who choose to experience life thanks to the power of love.
A distinct ‘80s silhouette has long been a signature of the designer, but beyond that, another connection between the film and the collection was that the angels had no gender. “More than an inspiration, it’s a question, the very significant one of gender. We’re going beyond the basic idea that a woman gains power by co-opting the masculine wardrobe. What space is there for a category of clothing between feminine and masculine? It’s a growing space and its contours are ever more permeable. We’re defining a type of clothing that lives in a non-binary zone,” Ghesquière explained.
And though the opening look of the collection can be interpreted as a direct and simple missive - a ribbed sweater bearing the words ‘Vote’ in large letters, it is an exploration of ambiguous terrains, an element Ghesquière kept consistent for his vision for the collection.
"I find myself back to what I’ve always loved doing, which in the end defines my work throughout my career as a designer. Stylistic hybrids. Patchworks of different materials. How to mix sartorial opposites, bring them together, fuse them. If you take a powerful term like ‘gender-fluid’ and apply it to fashion, it’s really the idea of fluidity in a garment that moves harmoniously from one to the other, and which is one and the other," Ghesquière says.
Vuitton, which is known for their covetable handbags, showcased some of its latest renditions in bright green, and others with chunky chains as straps.
Check out the entire Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2021 collection here: