Virgil Abloh Louis Vuitton Tribute Sparkling Emotions – The Hollywood Reporter

Only one factor spoiled the Louis Vuitton men’s show on Tuesday, November 30 at Miami Maritime Stadium, a moment that unfortunately felt out of place for some guests – actually, to use the word used by a famous fashion editor, it turned to “offensive.” But more on this later.

It’s not a leap to make such an opinion, especially when Tuesday night’s focus was clear: honoring Virgil Abloh in a show produced less than 48 hours after his death by the art director on Sunday, November 28, from a rare form of cancer. Fashion shows at Art Basel Miami Beach tend to be highly celebratory events, designed to nurture relationships with top clients while also making a mark on the brand with a outstanding display of its latest products. As some 1,500 guests waited to depart by boat at a marina near downtown Miami, the event showed all signs that it would stick to this age-old recipe, with cocktails and treats Appetizers are served to those in revealing dress. Louis Vuitton-the best logo.

The party yachts then took everyone to Miami Maritime Stadium, an outdoor venue on Virginia Key; Built in 1963, the once popular site has been the center of redevelopment efforts for more than seven years. Now awash in colorful graffiti, the concrete stadium has finally proven to be a fitting setting for Abloh’s spring 2022 menswear collection, a hybrid of a relic architecture against fashion has an ultra-modern feel. Even though that idea seems to have been expected, an old-meets-new strategy is often explored by tradition-centered fashion houses.

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Virgil Abloh’s LV baseball jacket from the Spring 2022 collection.
Spring Summer 2022 Men Spin Off Show © Louis Vuitton – All rights reserved

High-profile audiences also enjoyed the hot-ticket Art Basel event, from Kim Kardashian West and Kayne West, with their daughter North seated between them, to Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Pharrell Williams, Joe Jonas, Maluma and Bella Hadid. It’s not an unusual front row for a Louis Vuitton show, but make no mistake: They were there to honor Abloh. “There was a lot of emotion,” Williams said The Hollywood Reporter. “What he’s built and what he’s put together is amazing.”

Brother Vellies creative director Aurora James agrees. “When we talk about fashion, we often think of the idea of ​​’garments,’ but for Virgil, it’s more than just garments,” she said. “It’s really about culture, about identity. He also makes a lot of people feel seen; for him it’s always ‘we’ and ‘we, never ‘me’ and that’s really important. . I’ve also never seen anyone create so many incredible works. It’s amazing. I’m honored to be here.”

Everyone had settled into their seats as sunset turned the sky an indigo patch – and that’s when a seismic tremor of the night struck, from celebratory to overcast. “This is the hardest speech I’ve ever given,” Michael Burke, President and CEO of Louis Vuitton, told a now-silent audience. “The highly emotional performance we are about to see was born from an idea Virgil first discussed with me three years ago. It’s based on the traditional coming-of-age story – as Virgil, of course, he’s turned and rewritten the concept for the 21st century, and in so doing, he’s demonstrating talent and vision. its own unique look. This idea of ​​maturity is important to Virgil, because inspiring and empowering younger generations has defined who he is. He used the background he had to break boundaries and to open doors, to shine a light on his creative passions – art, design, music and of course, time. page – so that everyone can see within, not only the dream of being a part of it, but also to find a way to make that dream come true. Virgil showed them the way.”

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From the spring 2022 collection comes Virgil Abloh’s Monogram print jacket with neon ombré print.
Spring Summer 2022 Men Spin Off Show © Louis Vuitton – All rights reserved

Burke tells how meeting Abloh, Kanye West’s creative partner at the time, 15 years ago in Tokyo and inviting them both to an internship at Fendi in Rome, his gaze was immediately struck by the skill. and Abloh’s vision. “When the time came, Virgil wasn’t looking for the limelight, but the limelight found him,” Burke added of Abloh becoming the art director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection in 2018. First black designer to hold this position. “He often mentions to me how deeply connected he feels to Louis Vuitton, the man who came to Paris in search of a better life and broke the world with his my idea… in one of many lengthy conversations between me and Virgil. , he said to me, ‘Now I’m doing what Monsieur Vuitton did.’ “

Then, before the first model hit the runway, we heard Abloh’s voice again, noting that his main inspiration for the collection was the idea of ​​reimagining his childhood, the period. that children easily embrace “the feeling of wonder, stop using their mind and start using their imagination. The clothing that followed perfectly embodies that feeling, a parade of streetwear that meets exquisite tailoring, Vuitton’s bold knit tops in bright neon tones for to long coats in primary colors embellished with artistic interpretations of the fashion house’s iconic Monogram and Damier prints. Abloh previously unveiled most of this collection during a digital launch in June, but this in-person event, featuring 10 never-before-seen looks, is exclusive to a newly launched men’s boutique. in Miami’s Design District, is a wonderful reminder of the power of the live fashion show, filled with layers of meaning and embodying one’s thoughtful interpretation of contemporary life and culture. at ours.

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Virgil Abloh’s modern take on Louis Vuitton’s Damier print.
Spring Summer 2022 Men Spin Off Show © Louis Vuitton – All rights reserved

Following the traditional finalists of the models – a group that included Kid Cudi, A$AP Nast and Offset – red and white fireworks lit up the night sky. Burke also mentioned that Abloh was intimately involved in every detail of the event’s planning, and that this special moment to celebrate the man and his spirit in such a way ultimately proves to be true. deeply touched by many in the audience, who hugged and cried. when they watched. Walking to the post-show gathering not only reveals the towering statue of Abloh, a Louis Vuitton embossed portfolio under his arm, but also gives a deeper insight into the depths of details of the night, when a waiter explained why Champagne wasn’t served: “Champagne feels a bit too celebratory for what’s going on tonight,” he said. (Shortly after the runway presentation, sister brand Givenchy and its creative director, Matthew Williams, announced that they would be canceling Wednesday night’s Art Basel event out of respect for Abloh’s legacy. )

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A colorful raincoat from Virgil Abloh’s spring 2022 menswear collection for Louis Vuitton.
Spring Summer 2022 Men Spin Off Show © Louis Vuitton – All rights reserved

The evening would be the perfect, wonderful tribute to a game-changing artist – if not for an ill-conceived element, condemned by a number of guests both on and off the record. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were among those in attendance Tuesday night, and some in the crowd found the controversial couple’s presence an unpleasant surprise. L’Officiel Global creative director Stefano Tonchi said he was informed of their presence by artist friends, who first spotted them on one of the boats bound for Virginia Key. “They find it frustrating, especially in a place where we are celebrating diversity and coming together,” Tonchi said. “I’m not happy about that, and I’m not sure how it happened, because we’re really here to celebrate Virgil and what he means to fashion.”

Indeed, it is undeniably inappropriate to spot the pair at a fashion event that celebrates a man who puts diversity and inclusion first and center in everything he creates. fit. It was a jarring moment that made attendees lose all spirit of the event – imagine watching a quiet, sanctuary theater, only to experience someone coming unexpectedly so they could grow up. discord ringing. Abloh ultimately deserves a tribute without conflict, and the attendance of a couple that has caused controversy during their four years in the White House simply shouldn’t have happened.

That’s just out of respect for Abloh and no head-to-head events; After all, only the less polite people cause trouble at a memorial service. Instead, the night was spent with tears and smiles, the latter of which came when a drone presentation during the post-show rally delivered the only lasting message of loyalty. event: “Virgil was here.”

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