Fashion

At Louis Vuitton: A Dream House, A Standing Ovation, and Virgil Abloh’s Indelible Mark on Menswear


It’s been less than two months since Virgil Abloh’s tragic death, and the creative community he’s fostered and nurtured is still grieving. But, as they say, the show must go on.

The designer’s final Louis Vuitton collection was introduced this week in Paris at Carreau du Temple, the sports and cultural space where Abloh will host her Off-White runway shows. Students from Ecole Duperré, a public art and design college, lean against the window to glimpse inside. On the streets, loyal fans of Abloh, dressed in Louis Vuitton or Off-White outfits, met with fraternity-like enthusiasm for which the designer himself is known to exhibit. In an instant, sadness was replaced by a state of serenity.

Tyler, CreatorCourtesy of Louis Vuitton
Yasiin Bey and Dave ChappelleCourtesy of Louis Vuitton

The show attracted a large number of Abloh’s famous friends, among them: Tyler, The Creator, Naomi Campbell, Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def), Dave Chappelle, J Balvin, Venus Williams and actors French member Tahar Rahim. The Arnault family – owners of the LVMH group – sat next to Shannon, Virgil’s wife. British Chineke! The orchestra performed the soundtrack, written by rapper Tyler, The Creator and conducted by Gustavo Dudamel and Benji B, while Yoann Bourgeois’ dance crew mesmerized the audience.

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

The show, dubbed Louis Dreamhouse, is the grand finale of Virgil Abloh, his theory of everything, unifying his vision and reinforcing his love, with help from his trusted stylist, Ib Kamara. “Me and Virgil, and his design team were just getting started, having a lot of fun,” Kamara told GQ. It’s really interesting, as the collection takes conventions in a way that only Virgil Abloh and Kamara can. Gender, expression and identity binaries have been subverted and overturned. Louis Dreamhouse is for children, pure and unlimited in their imagination, the architecture is gentle but sociable. Masculine and feminine views merged, and the rules were broken: men wore tulle skirts, high heels, and bags with a swagger. Abloh seemed to be liberating Black men from their own masculinity. Angel wings made of lace, tulle, cotton poplin with embroidery are the material expression of this freedom.

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

As the show ended with a standing ovation, Virgil Abloh’s team and the muses gave him a final bow. There were tears on stage and in the audience. It was a stunning fashion moment that, although built on the tragic death of a genius designer, delighted the crowd. Why? Because Virgil Abloh is the voice of a generation, and in Paris his spirit has flourished.

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke revealed last December that there will be another show in June. Abloh’s 9th, unfinished collection, now in the hands of the stylist, his design team and collaborators. Classical music enthusiasts enjoy 9 Ludwig van Beethoven symphonies and menswear enthusiasts will enjoy Virgil Abloh’s 9 Louis Vuitton collections, monumental artistic achievements resounding with heat. Fort.

Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
Courtesy of Louis Vuitton
Courtesy of Louis Vuitton



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