Louis Vuitton Presents Final Collection by Virgil Abloh
Featured Image: Getty/Pascal Le Segretain
PARIS — Louis Vuitton presented its menswear fall/winter collection on Thursday morning. It was the eighth and final collection by Virgil Abloh, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear, who died in December after a battle with a rare form of heart cancer.
Set on a periwinkle dreamscape with a king-sized bed, a house’s roof, and a banquet table that seated a live orchestra, “DREAMSCAPE” came to life. The orchestra performed music composed by Tyler, The Creator — a close friend of Abloh’s. In a December 2021 interview that preceded Abloh’s death, Tyler, The Creator recalled Abloh’s friendship and kindness. Above all, he remembered asking Abloh for recommendations ahead of a Paris trip. Abloh responded a couple of days later with an entire PDF of spots to visit.
“He left his imprint. […]That man is a giant. He did that. Did it. Stamped,” he concluded.
Preceding the show, poet Kai-Isaiah Jamal spoke in a short film dubbed “The ∞th Field.” In it, Jamal says, “When it’s all over and our time is no longer, we leave it behind for others to seek their own dreams.”
And the show was a dream. In it, the performers danced and jumped while the models walked. Likewise, the models clung onto floral bouquets wrapped in faux newspaper. It featured stadium jackets, washed-out denim jeans, oversized caps, crystal-embellished truckers, warped tailoring, and Abloh’s original Tactic and Trainer sneaker designs.
ART & THE SHOW
Ib Kamara, the editor-in-chief of fashion publication Dazed, spearheaded the set design and had begun collaborating with Abloh ahead of the LV Spring-Summer 2021 collection. Previously, Kamara has styled ads for Fenty by Rihanna and numerous international Vogue covers.
The work of Giorgio de Chirico, founder of metaphysical Italian art, was actualized on tapestry. “Souvenir d’Italie,” Chirco’s 1914 painting, was displayed on a range of pieces.
In an interview with CNN, Kamara noted the big play on tapestry in the show. “The team has really taken it to a new dimension. Virgil’s spin on tapestry, whether in bags or garments and jackets…it’s quite…there’s a preciousness and a care to it. I think it’s very daring in menswear to introduce that care. Stereotypically, men are supposed to be ‘strong,’ but there’s a delicate point of view here.”
The somber feeling created by the monochrome venue alongside the orchestra playing music from Abloh’s repertoire memorialized his genius. As the orchestra performed Tyler, the Creator and Kali Uchi’s “See You Again,” angels graced the runway in all-white ensembles. At the end of the show, the entire LV creative team stepped out at the end of the presentation. They hugged each other and the models as the audience erupted into applause.
In the short film set on scene preceding the show, Mustafa the Poet, wearing a purple Louis Vuitton set, narrates a poem about dreams.
“When your imagination is a pulse, this sort of sparkle is formed. It lets you make things happen as long as you believe it will. The sparkle doesn’t belong to any of us, when it’s all over and our time is no longer, we leave it behind for others to seek their own dreams.”