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Fashion and Beauty

Louis Vuitton unveils Virgil Abloh's final collection in Paris Fashion Week

Marane A. Plaza - Philstar.com
Louis Vuitton unveils Virgil Abloh's final collection in Paris Fashion Week
A model displays a creation as part of the Louis Vuitton fashion show during the Men's Fall / Winter 2022 collection show in Paris, on Jan. 20, 2022.
AFP/Christophe Archambault

MANILA, Philippines — Louis Vuitton presented the much-anticipated final collection of fashion designer Virgil Abloh in the recently held Paris Fashion Week. The luxury house's artistic director died in November last year.

The Fall Menswear 2022 runway collection titled "Louis Dreamhouse" animated the proverbial "House That Virgil Built", as the show centered around a literal house set piece. A revamped 19th century industrial building gave way to a majestic sky blue decor of the set, which served as a reminder of the celestial quality of Abloh’s work.

Ahead of the show, Dior designer Kim Jones, who Abloh replaced at the helm of Louis Vuitton in 2018, paid tribute. "It's going to be very emotional," Jones said.

The collection unfolded 20 dancers and 67 models, along with 67 runway looks. Abloh reportedly described the collection as “a spark of imagination that turns into an eternal flame.” It was Abloh's eighth collection since his groundbreaking appointment to the 168-year-old house in 2018. It is noteworthy that Abloh’s earliest Vuitton collections paid homage to "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Wiz."

The catwalk showcase was organized by a team headed by Ib Kamara, editor-in-chief of fashion publication Dazed. Kamara, whose high-profile styling gigs include Fenty ads for Rihanna and numerous international Vogue covers, began collaborating with Abloh ahead of Louis Vuitton's Spring-Summer 2021 collection. Since then, he has styled Louis Vuitton menswear runway shows as well as campaigns.

"We wanted to keep it where we thought Virgil was with us, but push it to where Virgil would've taken it," Kamara said in an interview with CNN. 

The posthumous collection of the designer presented itself as a coming-of-age story, as the show notes, “the boyhood ideology, seeing the world through the unspoiled eyes of a child.” The runway showcase also featured musical scoring crafted by Tyler, the Creator with arrangements by Arthur Verocai and performed by the Chineke! Orchestra.

Before the show, Vuitton announced that the house had partnered up with Nike and Sotheby’s to auction off 200 pairs of limited-edition Air Force 1s: calf leather, in the brand’s Damier check and signature monogram print, printed with Abloh’s signature quotation marks, encased in an LV-embossed, Nike-box-orange trunk. Sales from the auction, set to run online from January 26 to February 8, will benefit The Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund for Black fashion students.

Meanwhile, supermodel Naomi Campbell, a collaborator and friend of Abloh, closed the Louis Vuitton runway show at Paris Fashion Week.

Abloh rose to prominence as Kanye West's creative director before making history as the first African-American to lead Louis Vuitton-- mixing luxury clothing with streetwear. He died on November 28, 2021 after a two-year battle with cancer, and just a few days later, Louis Vuitton held a (previously scheduled) fashion show in Miami that featured updates and tweaks to Abloh's Spring-Summer 2022 roster.

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