The Acceptance of Change: A Discussion
“What on Earth is this? Am I in Louis Vuitton? What happened to the old LV?” I overheard this conversation which took place in Selfridges between a lady and a member of staff. The salesman tried to explain how Louis Vuitton has adopted a contemporary flare of combining the elements of streetwear and the historic essence of Louis Vuitton through the vision of Virgil Abloh, which on March 25, 2018, Virgil was named artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear.
This is a symptom of those components which could be regarded as close-mindedness of the old fashion establishments and what they have built; showing reluctance to the acceptance of a modern twist. In light of this, Louis Vuitton, amongst other brands should be commended for composing such a courageous decision.
I've always pondered the art of change and evolution because in my opinion, I believe every form of artist or brand should evolve to something different in some point of time. Evolution is a vital component of art (and in life) as without it, what are we all striving for? In terms of Louis Vuitton changing their outlook and incorporating more streetwear elements, it is not necessarily negative rather. It is just evolution. They have adopted a new mentor and visionary and this is the route in which Virgil seems fit.
That being said, this move is not just ‘a stab in the dark’ but rather a calculated process through his history of fashion. Virgil is no stranger to change and this can be proven through his array of brands and collaborations from Pyrex to Off-White and working side by side with hometown contemporaries; Kanye West and Don C.
To take a different direction and steer towards the Belgian fashion designer who has ‘built empires on our thirst for ambiguity and from the mysterious disappearance of its designer’. Where in the contemporary society we live, every aspect of life is publicised for the eyes of millions, anonymity has become attractive. To break that lust and thirst of the press is a powerful and empowering move, yet almost seen as selfish. This is Martin Margiela.
In the documentary, “The Artist Is Absent” it illustrates the moments Margiela took hold of the industry by it’s throat and shook it.
"He (Margiela) established a vision. And concentrated on reconfiguring an entire system of fashion.” – Olivier Saillard.
Margiela thus obscured the faces of each model with either paint or a mask to “force the professional public to view the clothes in a professional way” and to “look at the clothes and not who is wearing them”. Margiela was against the industry ideology of the ‘glam model’. He wanted to dismantle the culture of giving the importance to the faces but exclusively the garments they wore.
And dismantle it, he did.
Change is change, change can swing both ways to become negative or positive but nonetheless, change should be welcomed and applauded. A brand's evolution may close doors but will in tandem, open more. One would believe that as a society, we would be more open to change because we are subjected to it in our daily lives; from alteration in the workplace, having different lectures each week and our favourite apps constantly being updated but in reality, we are not. We like what we like and in some respects, hate change. Once we have fallen in love with something, may that be a brand, t-shirt, musician or lover; and more often than not, we are even afraid of change.