Virgil Abloh’s emotional final Inside Show for Louis Vuitton
In a tearful speech at dusk shortly before the show began, Burke said that Abloh had planned the show until the very end. “It is the wish of Virgil’s wife, Shannon, and his family that tonight’s show and concert go ahead,” he said. “And I am incredibly grateful to everyone here that we honored that wish. The last time I spoke to Virgil was on Saturday night. He raved about the fine details of the performance: the symbolism of the paper airplane, and the balloons, the sequence of the collection, the concert we are about to experience. He’s imagined it all, and it’s a pity he’s not here to share it with us.”
A fashion show, especially one that coincides with the lavish hedonism of Art Basel, is a strange place to grieve. But Abloh has a knack for subverting expectations. His Louis Vuitton shows are never merely fashion shows — they are seismic pop culture events. At the heart of that force is the community drawn to Abloh’s powerful creative gravity. And yesterday, that community gave Abloh its last support, from hugely popular delivery people (Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, A$AP Rocky, Bella Hadid) to collaborators (Matthew Williams, Kunle) Martins, Don C, Nigo) to his peers (Jonathan Anderson, Jerry Lorenzo, Kerby Jean-Raymond) to the next generation he has opened the door to (Samuel Ross, Kerwin Frost, Zack Beer, and Pedro). Cavaliere and many others).
“It’s like a regular Virgil event, except we’re missing Virgil,” said Don C, the Chicago designer who accompanied Abloh on her first trip to Paris Fashion Week in 2012. Of course, Abloh’s appeal transcends the creative industries, drawing characters. not often seen at fashion shows such as James Murdoch, Jared Kushner, and Ivanka Trump. Some of the guests came dressed in black, but most — especially LV’s large clientele — wore Abloh designs, rarely black. The silver mid-layer harnesses, the three-piece rainbow-printed leather jacket, the grunge-y tie-dye oven, the thick velvet jacket studded with gems, and the stuffed animal pouch are a reminder of How fun, quirky, and easy to wear his costumes are.
When the last guests found their seats and the music of the orchestra filled the crowd, a familiar voice spoke up above. Abloh is saying, softly but clearly, in a voiceover: “I have focused on this focus, artistically and creatively, on getting adults to behave like children again. And they come back to this wonderful feeling. They start to stop using their mind, and they start using their imagination.”
Abloh’s muscular Spring-Summer 2022 collection is a compilation of how sartorial codes are sampled and remixed, and how hip-hop DJs sample and remix rhythms. For Miami, there are 10 new looks, including Miami Dolphins turquoise precision-fitted wool coats. Deep blue tie-dyed puffer coat dresses, and hybrid suits with asymmetrical knife pleats, were even more enticing a second time after Abloh sported the dramatic dress at the Met Gala. The cowboy and moon-shoe hybrid sneaker is one of Abloh’s most free and fun designs to date, and the show reimagined the upcoming Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force — an achievement worth Respect for a designer who started sending DIY AF1 ideas to Nike at the age of 17.