A cinematic prologue, directed by Caleb Femi, features 𝓛𝓸𝓾𝓲𝓼 Dreamhouse™, the grand finale designed for Louis Vuitton’s Fall Winter 2022 menswear presentation, the latest collection designed by visionary and creative director, Virgil Abloh. The scene features a young man admiring a prestigious old palace, fascinated by the magnificent facade. He gradually moves towards this bewitching vision, a door opens unexpectedly and we find ourselves transported to the reminiscence of the legendary fashion mansion, full of rooms, each hidden with its own universe, full of potential. We observe a man at the top of a ladder, looking down at us with a larger perspective, cultivating and watering a large floating cloud, the ever-expanding dreamscape of Abloh.
The dreamlike and metaphysical atmosphere enveloped in an impalpable veil of faded gray reveals the lively and unbridled imagination of this talented African-American artist, architect and engineer who, for the first time taking the male direction of one of the most important luxury brands, was able to realize a dream, to become a point of reference, very inspiring for new generations.
“Let your imagination run free”, he repeated, and his astonishing career took place without notions of fashion, surrounded by a halo of fairy tales, making everyone dream. He has always confronted this world of aspirations with a fervent pragmatism to push to imagine something better in times when reality does not, reminding us that “sometimes when the architecture of your environment seems hostile to you, the ‘architecture of the mind can save you’. He focused on encouraging adults to rediscover the sense of wonder and unspoiled vision of a child, who does not set boundaries and is not yet affected by preconceived ideas and prejudices. A new way of thinking, trying to assess appearance without social activities and educational conditioning is the revolutionary essence of its ethos embracing genuine human values and even permeating dress codes.
Another door opens, crossing the threshold in a 22-minute spectacle, hovering above the pastel blue sky that transforms Carreau du Temple, a 19and Parisian market of the century, in a scene of surreal and enigmatic visual poetry. An evocative, multi-layered and multi-referenced tribute, part of Virgil’s brilliant ingenious power to inject innovative stimulus and vital energy, invigorating a fashion storyline, navigating different terrains and demonstrating his ability to intertwine and stitch together diverse disciplines and cultures. A transversality which, through real interdisciplinarity, has enabled this versatile, inspired and democratic man to find a language capable of communicating with a wide audience, launching a message of inclusiveness and bridging two distant worlds, streetwear and clothing. luxury. An ideal that was his greatest ambition, as he explained in an interview: “It’s a crucial part of my overall work to prove that any place, no matter how exclusive, is accessible to everyone, that one can be interested in expressing oneself through more than one practice and that creativity should not be linked to a single discipline”. Rigid codes, as he had anticipated, give way to a new freedom of thought and behavior.
The scenography of this collection 8, synopsis of a work that spanned from 2018 to 2022, encompasses themes and references that punctuated and enlivened a course unfortunately abruptly interrupted barely two months before the event. A few bizarre fragments of a home and domestic interior enhance with their iconic eccentricity the whimsical vibe of a space of possibility. A half-buried house with a throbbing red roof and a smoking chimney, a large exaggerated bed and a double staircase, which invites to climb to an arched entrance which reveals a mysterious and seductive orange light, constitute the frame in monochromatic intense blue tones dominants, made by Los Angeles-based studio PLAYLAB INC.
A long-stretched banquet table accommodates, according to Abloh’s inclusive and friendly character, the Chineke! Orchestra, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, musical director of the Opéra national de Paris, performing live the scores of rapper Tyler, The Creator, arranged by Arthur Verocai, Brazilian composer. Acrobats and sleepwalking performers, directed and choreographed by Yoann Bourgeois, bounce on trampolines, while others contort, invigorating like a fantastical hip-hop tale and bewitching this Magritte-style kingdom of clouds. The subversive genius of Abloh’s eclectic personality freezes time as in the metaphysical realities portrayed by one of his favorite artists, Giorgio de Chirico. Clothing, tapestries and prints pay homage to the realist Gustave Courbet, representing all groups of French society, the elite on the right and all other strata on the left. Virgil reinforces his beliefs, “that ‘old’ ideas should be invigorated with value and presented alongside ‘new’ ones, for both have equal value.”
Hybridization is a fertile source of innovation and this collection, inspired by new perspectives, presents men who, freed from a stereotypical idea of masculinity, wear tulle skirts, carry bouquets of flowers and handbags. hand while a black angel with delicately laced white fairy wings symbolically inspires future generations.
This “novel-show” does not stop there: this man, who has often defined himself as a “maker” more than a designer, knew how to play on the emotional, touch everyone’s heart, reach and impact rationality. Breaking down barriers, intolerant of conventional pretensions, merging diversities and subverting identities, he recontextualized a vision far beyond the realm of “fashion”.