Louis Vuitton's Stuffed Animals Stole the Show in Shanghai

Louis Vuitton's Stuffed Animals Stole the Show in Shanghai

by Dylan Kelly

In lieu of standard fashion week formats, Louis Vuitton Men's Artistic Director Virgil Abloh presented his next concept through an expeditionary short film, The Adventures of Zoooom with Friends, during Paris Fashion Week's Men's digital presentations.

Giving way to the imminent virtual and literal voyage across the world to present the brand's Spring 2021 collection, Message in a Bottle, the film follows voyagers packing up shipping crates and loading them onto a barge in Paris before sailing down the Seine River. Aboard the ship, a colorful group of characters were hiding as stowaways, nodding to Abloh's continual theme of boyhood and viewing the world through the eyes of a child.

This week, those playful characters crystallized in physical form, arriving at the docks of Shanghai where the first chapter of Abloh's latest collection walked the runway.

Recalling last season's collection, Heaven on Earth, which was shown in a floor-to-ceiling sky box, performers opened the Spring 2021 show holding up whimsical, billowing clouds. Afterward, 25 iterations of the slim-tailored suits, sky-embossed accessories and elegant mink coats from the Fall 2020 range graced the runway once again, before the Spring 2021 designs emerged from cargo crates.

As the clouds made their exit, Chinese dragons danced through the runway and towering balloons in the shapes of a globe, a rainbow, a flying bird, the number five (in honor of Abloh's fifth collection with the French fashion house) and a checkered Louis Vuitton logo paraded out in preparation for the next installment.

An all-white suit with a black tie and vibrant, yellow dress shoes opened the show, signaling the playful accessorizing that would evolve into even louder statements. An oversized teddy bear clung to the left lapel of a monochromatic, deep blue suit in the next look, while an oversized, stuffed scorpion decorated a lightning yellow assemblage soon after.

Different stuffed animals attached to sharp suits as the show continued, and an updated black-and-white checkered pattern slowly began to center itself in many outfits. A dramatic trench coat followed, as the brand's signature bags, a swooping hat and, of course, tailored suiting rendered in bold, sophisticated patterns.

Elsewhere, Abloh introduced a new concept for the label: "Upcycling Ideology," its new philosophy for moving towards a more sustainable design process with recycled materials.

While the Shanghai presentation was certainly a show-stopping spectacle, Louis Vuitton's overseas voyage is far from complete. Next up, the French fashion house is headed to Tokyo, where Abloh will share the next chapter in the Spring collection's story.

Until then, watch the Louis Vuitton Men's Spring 2021 show in Shanghai for yourself, below.

Photos courtesy of Louis Vuitton