Virgil Abloh has paid homage to Michael Jackson with his latest men’s collection for Louis Vuitton.
The designer, who also helms streetwear label Off-White, presented his fall/winter 2019 for the French luxury giant at the Tuileries Garden as part of Paris Fashion Week: Men’s on Thursday (17Jan19), with celebrities such as Naomi Campbell, Natalia Vodianova, Timothee Chalamet, Joel Edgerton, Offset, J Balvin, and Kid Cudi all perched on the front row.
As guests held their show invite, a single white glove like Jackson famously wore, they entered the venue to find a backdrop evocative of some of the King of Pop’s cityscape music videos.
Highlighting the theme even further in his show notes, Abloh described Jackson, who died at the age of 50 in 2009, as his musical hero and “the universal symbol of unity on the planet”.
To kick off the presentation, a male model walked down the runway in a boxy grey suit while carrying a matching oversized grey leather carryall, with a parade of grey ensembles following, including a quilted jacket featuring the Louis Vuitton monogram, and a grey knit jumper patterned with the stars and stripes of the American flag.
Abloh interspersed the collection with head-to-toe black and silver ensembles and injected a pop of colour via the addition of royal purple wool coats and shirts decorated with bibs, while a series of shirts and sweaters were printed with cartoon versions of the characters in Jackson’s 1978 musical film The Wiz.
However, the influence of Jackson’s iconic costumes was especially evident in militaristic jackets and coats, glittery sweaters which were matched with black trousers and white gloves, a grey knit sweater with a globe emblem, as well as a black T-shirt with a motif of the Billie Jean hitmaker’s famed black dancing shoes and white socks.
To close out the show, Abloh included a range of shirts, jackets and trench coats decorated with flags of the world – perhaps a nod to We Are the World, the tune penned by Jackson and Lionel Richie in 1985.
Previously, Abloh shared in a chat with Interview magazine that he listens to Jackson’s music as he works in the Louis Vuitton studio and it was particularly influencing his creative process of late.
“My next Louis Vuitton collection is going to be based on Michael Jackson, and when I have Michael singing in the background, it’s a different type of shirt, it’s a different kind of boot, it’s a different fit of pants. Music is key,” the 38-year-old commented.
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