Louis Vuitton menswear channels digital age in Paris show

Singer Rosalía stunned guests at Louis Vuitton’s menswear show in Paris with a surprise reveal in shades and hooded jacket atop a vintage 1980s yellow saloon car

ByTHOMAS ADAMSON AP Fashion Writer
January 19, 2023, 8:30 AM

PARIS -- Singer Rosalía stunned Louis Vuitton’s guests at the Paris house’s dramatic, digital age-themed menswear show Thursday owing to a surprise reveal, atop a vintage 1980s yellow sedan, in shades and hooded jacket.

The boundary-breaking Spanish star delivered an electrifying soulful performance during the runway collection, delving in and out of a childhood movie set co-created by Michel Gondry, director of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

As she sang, the Grammy winner darted around awe-struck celebrities, including J-Balvin, Usher, Kit Harington, J-Hope and Lucien Laviscount, who all gave the spectacle rousing applause.

Here are some highlights of Thursday’s fall-winter 2023-24 displays:

VUITTON GOES MILLENNIAL

Since the death of Virgil Abloh in 2021, the Louis Vuitton men’s studio has taken over the brand's creative control.

Yet Thursday’s set — a vintage childhood home recreated inside the Louvre’s oldest courtyard — was in continuity with Abloh’s coming-of-age styles that have defined his Vuitton tenure from 2018-2021.

This season, the youthful studio team and guest designer Colm Dillane channeled growing up “as members of the first generation raised on super-connectivity.” References to the digital age thus abounded in the creative and tailoring-heavy display — which was most successful when it kept it simple.

Patterns evoked encrypted computer coding, while handwritten notes — which are deemed obsolete in today’s world — were upcycled to produce a surreal white suit and top hat look whose façade was constructed entirely of the note paper.

The collection at times felt reliant on gimmicks, such as pixelated apples on an otherwise beautiful round-shouldered wool coat.

The best looks were minimalist, such as a light gray suit jacket that sported one large childlike button and a fabulous, tapered V-shape owing to masterful construction with interlocking layers of fabric.

RICK OWENS’ LUXOR

Rick Owens said this collection “is about reduced architectural shapes” -- adding with typical aplomb that it was “with a whiff of sleazy, ’70s pseudo-mysticism.”

It was a rather good description of the creative and mad-hat show that saw the lauded U.S. designer travel to the ancient world, specifically to the former pharaonic stronghold in the modern Egyptian city of Luxor, for inspiration.

The first looked like a cross between a high pharaonic priest and a high-octane 1970s rock star with a black gothic cape caressing a provocatively bare torso.

But this was a show by Owens, a man who would never limit himself to one theme.

Cue the encyclopedic style contradictions.

A flash of Victorian-era dress saw prim, high-waisted silhouettes descend in a flare, while cuffs and chokers in bronze added a kink to the dark, 50-look collection. There were also the dramatic alien-like spike shoulders that are now an Owens staple.

The devil was in the detail, especially in the eco-conscious production methods with the collection’s black coming from fabric dyed in bamboo charcoal, and its green produced from olive waste.

ISSEY MIYAKE GOES COMPLEX, BRIGHT

A writhing dance troupe performed on the runway against a backdrop of optically striped lighting, which moved organically.

It was more than just spectacle. It introduced a geometric theme -- how simple shapes can be folded to create more complex ones. The Japanese house explored this in several distinct sections using signature techno-pleating techniques throughout.

The Homme Plisse Issey Miyake collection began with a beautiful, soft new coat silhouette — in flashes of eye-popping color -- with ridge-like shoulder tucks and warped tubular sleeves. Lines in the groove of the pleating gave the impression of complexity, even if the silhouettes themselves seemed minimalist.

Elsewhere, the idea of simplicity spawning more than the sum of its parts was developed with flair in a style called the “edge coat.” The amorphous-pleated garment resembled a sort of dark jellyfish, designed using triangular shaped fabric that created a sublime three-dimensional shape.

AMI IS STRICT

Oversize 80’s coats set the tone for Alexandre Mattiussi's co-ed fare for fall, which forged a strict but trendy path for fall with a uber-narrow aesthetic.

Silhouettes possessed a confident, faintly A-line swag thanks to generous lengths of material -- but strayed little from the soft, broad and minimalist mood.

It made for an uncomplicated and saleable showing.

Pastel colors dominated -- in soft yellows, beiges, and lavender blue -- saved for some short bursts of dark cobalt that capped the collection.

The piece de resistance was one such look: one loosely tailored cobalt suit ensemble showcased by British actress Charlotte Rampling who donned a stylish, androgynous hairstyle and bared a small V of naked chest.

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