On Thursday, at the Cour Carrée of the Louvre, a curious thing happened: Rosalia was upstaged. The Spanish superstar provided the live soundtrack for the Louis Vuitton Fall-Winter 2023/2024 menswear show, presented on a sprawling set, with the help of scenographer Lina Kutsovskaya, film directors Michel and Olivier Gondry, and stylist Ib Kamara.
Co-created by the Louis Vuitton menswear studio and KidSuper creative director Colm Dillane, the collection was a study in juxtaposition. Futurism-infused clothing — tight snoods, metallic detailing and plenty of grey — followed a nostalgic short film and were paraded down a set that offered snapshots of a life story: a hospital room, a bedroom, living room, vintage cars. But there were also clothes that drew on relics of the past, like the suit and hat ensemble crafted with what resembled hand-written letters. Clean lines on suiting were balanced by slouchy denim and rugged outerwear.
The idea of juxtaposition was perhaps most interesting when applied to bags, with small, bulging bags bearing curving lines finished in glossy black and shiny chrome, or classic Vuitton silhouettes and their iconic monogram dipped ever so slightly in a metallic finish. Then there were the backpacks, briefcases and carryalls striped of their monogram and detailing, rendered in the same chrome, but finished with an illustrated brown and beige monogrammed version.
There were portions of the collection that felt decidedly Vuitton — at least in the manner of Louis Vuitton under Virgil Abloh and, subsequently, those from his studio who now collectively helm the artistic direction — there were pieces and looks that were undeniably the work of Dillane and his KidSuper team. Tailoring and wool outerwear were rendered in Dillane’s trademark style, becoming veritable wearable works of art. And, this being Louis Vuitton, a leather goods brand at its roots, we were treated to leather and suede camouflage jackets made with patches that reveal faces, an effect called pareidolia, which is often found in Dillane’s work at KidSuper.
It’s been more than a year since Virgil Abloh’s death; a year with plenty of speculation about who will succeed him at Louis Vuitton. But perhaps this, a collective, collaborative effort — which was something that Abloh, himself, championed — is the future.