A “Message in a Bottle” from Louis Vuitton

Virgil Abloh has presented his digital alternative for the SS21 Louis Vuitton Menswear collection, entitled “Message in a Bottle”.

Instead of the traditional fashion show, Abloh has chosen to exhibit the new collection via a series of visual chapters starting in Paris, moving on to Shanghai and finally Tokyo. The first of these chapters, a short video entitled “The Adventures of Zoooom with Friends” was released on July 10th.

The 3:45 minute video begins in the historic Asnières workshop outside of Paris.

Large Louis Vuitton shipping containers are loaded onto lorry while a collection of cartons, each colourfully designed with a different LV outfit, sneak inside. The colourful and comical theme is continued throughout the video as they travel past iconic Parisian landmarks, before being loaded onto a barge and leaving via the Seine. The animated characters included in the video are an incorporation of the ‘boyhood’ theme that Abloh has communicated through his menswear collections.
So many fashion brands have had to change and adapt their method of presenting collections because of the global pandemic and Abloh’s comedic take is certainly refreshing. Notably, we are yet to see any physical sign of the menswear itself. Yet, the first port of call for the cartoon stowaways is said to be Shanghai on August 6th, where we can expect to see the collection come to life.
The collection itself will incorporate different methods of upcycling including the use of recycled materials and adapting and revisiting looks from the AW20 menswear collection. It is definitely promising that a brand as influential as Louis Vuitton is enthusiastically embracing the need to reduce waste in the fashion industry.

The use of upcycling in this instance is yet another exciting indication of a necessary movement towards sustainability within the fashion industry.
In a release from the brand it was announced that “the collection will transform in an evolving exchange across cultures and nations…As a free and inclusive dialogue between the Maison and its audiences”.

This is an impressive statement from the brand and currently, with the mere 3:45 minute video, further details of the collection are still rather elusive. However, the promise of inclusivity and sustainability is ever appealing and Abloh has certainly been successful in creating a sense of anticipation for the digital journey to come.

By Sophie Easton