Saturday, June 23, 2018

#FASHIONWEEK: Paris Fashion Week – In Review – Louis Vuitton SS19

I generally don’t do this, but with all the beautiful clothes coming from Paris Fashion Week, I can’t help myself. I have to get in on the conversation and at least highlight my favourite international designers and my magic moments from their collections. One incredibly beautiful moment was that of Ghanaian-American creative, Virgil Abloh, at Louis Vuitton. Only three months in the hot seat – Abloh was named LV Men’s Artistic Director in March 2018 – the designer did what he has always wanted to do, seemingly: Merge street with couture. And his LEVELS have layers.

Virgil stepped into Paris Fashion Week as Louis Vuitton’s first Ghanaian-American designer to head up the men’s division. The pressure to deliver must have been ungodly, however, the public declaration by LVMH of Abloh’s position in the company is a clear sign of their confidence in him and his capabilities as a creative spirit with a vision also driven by results; whether financial or social commentary. Abloh’s experience spans interning at FENDI + being Creative Director at DONDA, Kanye West’s Creative Agency + founding Off-White. Through this journey, as a young American from Chicago born of Ghanaian migrants, Virgil had a dream to effect change through fashion and this appointment, made material by this collection, is that dream being achieved.

Virgil has gained a level of notoriety in fashion, especially within street wear. His work through Off-White has been a considerable conversation about the relationship between street wear and luxury – what are its defining terms and how do you bridge the two without losing individual credentials. In looking at his first collection for the luxury fashion house, Virgil took to ‘The Wizard of OZ’. An American popular culture fable about a young Dorothy who finds herself in another world, seeking her way home, only to find adversity along the seemingly paved road, only to make it back home in reality where OZ was a dream. Throughout the collection, the parallels are translated in various ways, for instance: in the opening scene in the movie the story is painted in sepia – in the collection, Virgil opens with shades of off white. As Dorothy’s struggle down the yellow brick road to home in Technicolor, so does Abloh’s LV collection start to take on pops of vibrant colour.

The collection itself, amongst everything else that was happening during this presentation, was strong and confident. It held its own. Taking its queue from Louis Vuitton’s rich tapestry and heritage for travel, the collection embodied an illustration of a global citizen, on the move and unflinching for their taste for opulence. There was a level of aspiration and accessibility about the collection, pulling in a lot of street detailing and polishing it off with traditional atelier handcraftsmanship. The shape, albeit loose fitting and flowing for most part, had a lot of under construction and form was fitted well in most parts to great dynamic silhouettes. And what should a collection be without those directional fashion items based on some key trends: sheer tees were part in parcel of this collection, as well as the oversized semi-constructed tailored blazer in extra length. Denim was in, and so was the use of stylized floral motifs as the new graphic visual for prints.

The collection was Virgil’s very own yellow brick road, paved and outlined heading towards paradise. From a man from humble beginnings to what is looking like a humble reign, supreme, we can only sit back and enjoy his offerings from now on.

Watch the full show...

#parisfashionweek #pfw #menswear #louisvuitton #virgilabloh

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