It’s Time to Again “Fall in Love” With Louis Vuitton

Everything that Virgil Abloh did at Louis Vuitton was filtered through his own taste, especially when it came to music. Certainly, there was influence from sources as disparate as his upbringing and architecture — Abloh held a degree in civil engineering — but the core throughline between Abloh’s output was his love of a good tune.

Abloh, a DJ himself, collaborated with turntable-maker Pioneer, brought on Benji B to oversee Louis Vuitton’s music direction, and invited his vast network of stylish musician pals to model collections for both LV and his own Off-White™ label.

One memorable collection was even proudly inspired by Jamiroquai and its brash frontman.

But Abloh’s Louis Vuitton collections were no mere musicals. The clothes themselves got wrapped up in the spirit of sound, transforming what could be stiff transcriptions of obvious references into fluid renderings of freeform experimentation.

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2023 is the first major collection without Abloh but Pre-Spring 2023 is kind of the in-between offering, a lineup of garments that was “conceived” by Abloh, according to LV, but was actually brought to life by the menswear design team who remains busy in the absence of Abloh’s successor.

Whether that’s a role to be filled by Martine Rose, as so many rumor mills have suggested, doesn’t really matter for now. All that matters is the clothes.

Pre-Spring 2023 was designed as an ode to proto-DJ David Mancuso, the New York City socialite who held impromptu listening parties in The Loft, his roomy Noho apartment, throughout the ’70s.

Mancuso’s first-ever party, “Love Saves The Day,” is what Abloh was directly riffing on with “Fall in Love,” the title of Louis Vuitton’s Pre-SS23 collection.

The counterculture and progressive ideas were fomented at Mancuso’s gatherings, as their fanciful names might imply, and Abloh translated that joyous atmosphere into a fluid uniform of “sculpted” suiting, flared trousers, suede shoes, embroidered raincoats, and monogram-embossed leather bags.

Those are no ordinary leather goods, though: Abloh’s team manifested an idea that the late designer had put forth to them prior to his passing wherein LV’s signature Taurillon leather was hybridized with contrast-stitched panels of denim, uniting the supple with the hardy in a way that echoes Mancuso’s inclusive dancefloors.

Not only is the classic Louis Vuitton Keepall bag realized in this two-piece fabrication, it’s also realized in Record Canvas, a textile born of “archive” Louis Vuitton notebooks, with Slingbags and backpacks to match.

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