Today was the day. Virgil Abloh, Men’s Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton, debuted his highly anticipated Spring / Summer 2019 collection in Paris.
“like some kids today i started the surreal mission without “fashion school” but a blank t-shirt, a screen printed idea for it and a dream.”
The setting was off the charts. With a long rainbow runway and a T-shirt left on the seat of every guest, it was a nod to Abloh’s more humble beginnings. Taking in proceedings from a front-row seat was Kanye West, who was joined by wife Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, and Travis Scott.
It was always expected that Abloh would reference culture in his work at Vuitton. As the first 17 looks paraded down the runway it seemed that maybe Abloh was going to offer a strictly monochromatic white-on-white collection, which would challenge much of what we have come to expect from both him and Vuitton. The monogram on accessories was present, but simply embossed and metallic Louis Vuitton detailing was painted white, while everything from shirts to shearling jackets were displayed in… well, white.
But while the silhouettes were consistent across the collection, the color palette was not. At first glance, the second half of the show seemed inconsistent with the white-on-whites; the looks bounced around an eclectic color palette that—without the proper context (more on that in a second)—seemed drawn at random. This included purples, neon yellows, greens, orange and reds (oh the reds!). There were also the quasi-psychedelic all-over prints, the Wizard of Oz-inspired graphics and the “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” slapped on the back of the closing technicolor look.
And one more thing. There was an iconic moment in fashion history!