Five Takeaways from Louis Vuitton’s Angelic Men’s Show

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Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2022 Menswear
Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2022 Menswear

Louis Vuitton’s show today was a mournful but uplifting celebration of Virgil Abloh’s spiritual and stylistic legacy

Despite Virgil Abloh’s passing in November of last year, the late American designer’s spirit could be felt in full force at today's Louis Vuitton’s Autumn/Winter 2022 menswear show. Shown in the enormous, airy space of La Carreau du Temple in Paris, the collection was a poetic, mournful ode that included dancing, a live orchestral band (courtesy of Tyler, the Creator) and plenty of angelic, all-white looks.

Here, ahead of Alexander Fury’s Collections Digest, we give you five takeaways from the spectacular show – from the transcendent set to the joyful overtones.

1. The set imagined a ‘Louis Vuitton Dreamhouse’

Over the course of Abloh’s tenure at Louis Vuitton, wildly fantastical backdrops to his shows became the norm – from a vast rainbow runway at his very first show to imagining a literal heaven on Earth for A/W20. The set for his swansong collection was fittingly imaginative: a ‘Louis Vuitton Dreamhouse’ staged in the middle of the airy and immense La Carreau du Temple in Paris. The structure was a white, half-sunken building complete with a bed, staircase and a smoking chimney, from which dancers leapt out of and around at the show’s start. Across from it stood an enormous dining room table, where a full orchestra took their seats and performed. 

2. Tyler, the Creator composed the soundtrack

It’s no secret that one of Virgil Abloh’ lifelong passions was music. The emotional score which soundtracked his final collection was composed by a friend of his, Tyler, the Creator. Performed by a large orchestra, the momentous score swelled to conclude with Tyler’s 2017 song See You Again, featuring vocals by Kali Uchis. The meditative lyrics – “And I don't know if I'ma see you again” – took on new meaning in the context of Abloh’s passing. “Sometimes, part of us sharing our wild ideas is to get approval from our peers to keep it pushing, but Virgil was ALWAYS a cheerleader,” Tyler wrote on Instagram in November following the news of Abloh’s death. “For everyone.”

3. It was more like a performance than a show

The collection reflected on all Abloh has created over the arc of his eight seasons at the house, and in the spirit of the late designer’s out-of-the-box approach, the show felt much more like a performance – and an immersion into Abloh’s dream world – than a typical runway show. With a near-equal number of dancers and models, the cast interacted with the set throughout: dancers bounced off trampolines built into the floor while models moved through the “dream house” in packs of twos and threes. 

4. The collection had mournful, angelic elements

Interspersed throughout the more kaleidoscopic elements of the show, models walked in a series of sombre all-white ensembles; spindly lace angel wings protruded from the backside of jackets, LV-monogrammed veils were draped over white snapbacks, and floor-length fishnet skirts flowed beneath some sharp blazers. Despite black being the de facto colour of funeral attire, Louis Vuitton had opted for something more uplifting. Abloh’s spirit, they seemed to say, was present on the runway. 

5. But at its core, it was a joyous affair

During his time at Louis Vuitton, Abloh became known for his oversized silhouettes and acrid-coloured garments in pinks, purples and blues. These signature elements reappeared on the A/W22 runway in a self-referential fashion, alongside playful hats paired with formal suiting and flamboyant head-to-toe floral looks. Abloh’s high-low ethos was ever present, while the looks themselves grew more and more ostentatious with every model that stepped out on to the catwalk. At the end of the show, the cast gathered together with members of the LV design team to applaud the orchestral finale with the crowd – a poignant and powerful end to a trailblazing era of fashion from the late, beloved Virgil Abloh.