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With the highly anticipated show of Virgil Abloh debuting his virgin Louis Vuitton collection, the expectations by the audiences were vastly untamed. Especially since Virgil and Louis Vuitton had partnered with Instagram to unleash the footage via IGTV the making of his SS19 Men’s LV collection a few days before the big show, the public was beyond excited.
On June 21st at 2pm in Paris, there was a 200 meter long runway, bisecting a courtyard at the Palais Royale, painted in the full spectrum, drunken in the French sun, quietly waited for the models to step onto the rainbow to showcase the Men’s SS19 Paris Fashion Week Color as a Metaphor collection. The result from a bird’s eye’s view was a surreal rainbow-toned runway where each section, perhaps unknowingly to attendees, created something beautiful: a nice metaphor. However, it being pride month, it was easy to mistaken Virgil, men’s wear creative director’s thought process. Luckily with IGTV, he explained where his idea came from for the viewing audience. It was this idea I had after my position was announced. I had others but this one hit me in the five hours that I flew over. It was this metaphor for leaving Off-White and hitting this prism of Louis Vuitton and having access to the whole color spectrum.
Given that metaphor, he opened the show with monochromatic all-white collection. The 56-look show, began with a series of 17 all-white looks featuring gauzy, slightly-oversized pleated trousers and lightweight collared blouses, and including a mesh top with an embellished collar and the LV logo across the chest. As the colors started to come brown, sage, green, red, and blue no color of the spectrum missing. In fact, the collection was chocked full of merchandise from sleek tailored pieces, fabulous outerwear, accessories and bags galore, T-shirts and trinkets, fly shades, to a trendy new sneaker and sportswear as predicted by many. The runway faded into monochromatic suiting and elegant outerwear in gental browns and mosy greens, followed by tie-dye in pink, purples and neon yellows, then a slew of utilitarian garments with cargo-pocketed vests and button downs.
It was expected that the clothes will present themselves as an elevated version of his Off-White work, but there was an equal balance of refinement and street on the runway. Harness-style vests and bibs were worn over more traditional tailored pieces and standards like T-shirts or parkas were styled in a sheer mesh or a floral design. The LV monogram that appeared on quilted fabrics on suits further stirred up the creative pot. Followed by the tie-dye series of more casual pieces, paired with the Virgil’s endless spins on fanny packs, cross-body bags, clear duffels, and see-through cases of all kinds. The necklaces and handbags involved are fun yet sophisticated, thoughtful yet playful. The bags themselves are consistent designs and shapes of Louis Vuitton with unusual colors, patches, and lettering on them. Not to be forgotten, the collection moved into some denim street wear pieces that were paired with vivid floral prints, such as an embroidered bomber jacket, and a series of intarsia knit sweaters, pants and jackets depicting imagery from the Wizard of Oz the rainbow making even more sense at this point.
The runway concluded with a graphic sweater in the style of the Yellow Brick Road, five printed looks three in poppy red floral, two in a black and white paint spallter and finally, an iridescent silver, NASA-eque poncho.
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