VIRGIL WAS HERE – A TESTAMENT OF THE DESIGNER’S WORK
last night, close to midnight here in milan, italy, I sat in bed waiting for virgil abloh’s last louis vuitton runaway in miami. the show began thirty minutes late and from the virgil was here video that opened it, it was already clear what abloh’s intentions were and that he knew something we didn’t.
I took my phone and began searching for accounts I knew might be there. apart from some media, everyone was quite quiet. I guess emotions were stronger than the need to socialize. the show went on, and I simply couldn’t help myself but cry. after years of transcribing his interviews, following him around not just in fashion but also in design, I quickly learned that virgil possessed a special gift not many have — he made everyone feel seen.
‘AN ETERNAL OPTIMIST WHO BELIEVED ANYTHING WAS POSSIBLE’
the show, which took place at miami’s marine stadium on the evening of november 30th, 2021, was conceived to celebrate the opening of louis vuitton’s new men’s boutique in the magic city. instead, it became the designer’s testament, set within trees, fireworks, a show of choreographed drones and a rainbow gradient of menswear. an oversized multicolor statue of the designer looking to the skies carrying a canvas added to his artistic nature and to the dreamer in him. his passing was a surprise to many us, but the massive sculpture somehow says that for him, it wasn’t.
‘as a devoted supporter of his community through his charities and passions, [virgil] was an eternal optimist who believed anything was possible,’ said michael burke, louis vuitton’s chairman and CEO. ‘in this same spirit, we at louis vuitton will proudly continue to celebrate his legacy with a final show in miami, per his wishes.’
as reported by highsnobiety, the ‘show was a creative cornucopia of virgil’s greatest hits and new ideas…there are bits you’ve seen before, if you’ve paid attention to virgil’s previous runway shows for LV, but they’re recontextualized in wholly new looks. throughout, sparkling suits, billowing tulle skirts, ruffled jackets and amorphous overcoats warped the models’ proportions to affect virgil’s dynamic vision of ready-to-wear. the louis vuitton monogram danced across hooded parkas, wide slit-hem slacks flapped against the concrete, and sportswear accouterments morphed into mesh LV jerseys and oversized hockey goalie gloves.’
once the fashion show was over, fireworks exploded and a flock of drones choreographed by studio drift filled the skies with a virgil was here scribble in red. while this happened, members of the louis vuitton design team came out to receive the applause of the public, with their heads down and their eyes teary.
rest in paradise virgil — heaven feels closer now.
for those interested in honoring virgil’s work and legacy, you can donate to his post-modern scholarship fund.
juliana neira I designboom
dec 01, 2021