Fashion
  • Text Jake Hall
  • 21st June 2019

Dream big

When you’re at the helm of one of the world’s most eminent fashion houses you can do just about anything, Virgil Abloh has quickly established this potential. And so, this season the US designer took over an entire Paris square and transformed it into an immersive Louis Vuitton-branded fair. Impressive.

Place Dauphine – a picturesque square just a stone’s throw from the Louis Vuitton atelier – became a teenage fantasy where guests were invited to explore and interact with ice cream stalls, a balloon artist, crepe stands and one pièce de resistance: a giant bouncy castle – Vuitton branded, of course. But this childhood theme had an underlying political motive: “through the stages of boyhood, young men’s encounter with clothes and fashion is yet to be influenced by societal programming.” In other words, SS20 was staged in a free-floating dreamland free of cultural norms.

While this collection literally took place on a Parisian street, it marked a shift in gear away from the streetwear aesthetic Virgil has become synonymous with through his other brand, Off-White. Instead, ideas of relaxed tailoring and unrestricted adventure permeated the collection. Plastic macs (trimmed with the LV monogram) came in canary yellow; slouchy, wide-leg shorts came in an assortment of pastels; quilted coat silhouettes were exaggerated and voluminous, trailing in the wind behind models. Elsewhere, some models walked the finale with red ‘LV’ balloons, which instantly took our minds to IT and the film’s sinister childhood tropes, and Arsenal right-back Héctor Bellerín made his catwalk debut in a matching hot pink hoodie and shorts look.

Experimental accessories provided the SS20 highlights: from harnesses studded with flowers to the inflatable bags strapped to models, these details best encapsulated the sense of sheer joy that underpins Virgil’s Vuitton.