Virgil Abloh captured Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2022 collection in a film, titled ‘’Amen Break’’, exploring ideas of transmission: “the act of transmitting something from one person to another and activating waves of change across generations”.
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Directed by Mahfuz Sultan, the film casted the prestigious names: GZA, Goldie, Saul Williams, Lupe Fiasco and Shabaka Hutching – the quartet featured also on the show’s soundtrack – Caleb Femi, JIM JOE, Kandis Williams, Thelma Buabeng, Octavia Burgel, Julian Eugene Tsukasa Williams, Damian Eugene Nagisa Williams, Malik Le Nost, alongside “Les Misérables” actor Issa Perica.
Inspired by a Japanese kung fu movie, ‘’Lone Wolf and Cub’’, the storyline is a story about a father and son united by an unnamed loss, crossing a dream world to deliver a message to the other side. Along the way, adversaries conspire against the child, heroes emerge to guide him, and great sacrifices are made to get him across the divide. The film brings us back to a certain reality of life: those who embark on long journeys to make the passage less difficult for those who follow; who fight the battles for the future of others, break the bound – aries, and dismantle archetypical notions.
The show’s name itself is taken from the 1969 track “Amen, Brother” by the soul group the Winstons, of which the drum break became one of the most sampled tracks in musical history, and which we find in various genres, in particular drum’n’bass and jungle.
“I called the collection that because I think it’s so profound: this idea that something can be iterated on by so many artists in so many songs to the point where it melts away. They weren’t compensated for it, by the way. And people don’t know that the drum pattern in their favorite song was from a very specific soul song – and it’s a sampler that makes it possible”, said Virgil Abloh.
In fashion terms, the theme translated into a plethora of check motifs, on items ranging from tracksuits – which are also available in neon colors, a nod to clubbing culture – to tailored suit jackets paired with floor-length skirts, in a nod to the combat clothing of kendo, a Japanese martial art. The art of chess, represented here by the check motifs, and kendo are both used frequently by Wu-Tang Clan, a famous rap group to which the designer wanted to pay homage here.
We then found borrowings from the hakama (pleated pants of the samurai) and kimono jackets which have been revisited in elegant and racy suits which were sometimes embellished with black and white balaclavas, a nod again to a chess board.
On this occasion, Virgil Abloh also unveiled Louis Vuitton’s mega-collaboration with Nike. The two partners have revisited the iconic Air Force 1 in 21 colors, the release of which is currently kept secret.
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