The spirit of Virgil Abloh lives in Louis Vuitton in Paris

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PARIS – He may have passed away last November, but Virgil Abloh lived through Paris Fashion Week on Thursday in the stunning high-energy runway of Louis Vuitton menswear. The Black March band gave a thrilling performance on the path of a surreal yellow-brick installation inside the Louvre, while rapper Kendrick Lamar gave a vivid ode to the American fashion star who was the menswear designer at Vuitton from 2018 until his death.

Here are some of the highlights of the Spring/Summer 2023 performances on Thursday in Paris.

“Virgil lives… how many miles away?” I went to live rap by Lamar on Vuitton’s Very Hot Show. The group invoked the spirit of The Wizard of Oz and childhood obsessions common to Abloh’s designs—as did a colorfully dressed orchestra and dance group, including several members of the Florida A&M University band, who appeared at the beginning and end of the show.

This spring-summer show was the first that Abloh didn’t design. Instead, it was designed by Studio Vuitton in his soul.

Omar C, Jessica Biel, Justin Timberlake, Joel Edgerton and Naomi Campbell have demonstrated the ongoing appeal of the designer’s legacy.

It’s a remarkable feat that the studio mimics the styles of a previous designer – with authenticity.

That was the case on Thursday: from oddly cut shirt edges in zigzag patterns, to 3D kite motifs on suits and other long silhouettes.

A finely tailored jacket with trompe l’oeil prints provided one of the many touches of old-school luxury. Moments like this on this set seemed to trump even Abloh’s own runway designs.

They’ve drawn a fine line between the playful styles associated with the home since 2018 and the luxurious, luxurious tailoring seen during the tenure of Kim Jones’ predecessor.

The strength of the screen is due to several design feats. An example is the waistline on a black double-breasted jacket pulled to resemble a V on its side. The silhouette of the house summoned a monogram.

The Louis Vuitton design studio bucked the trend of many chefs spoiling the broth.

Death-defying fashion at HOMME PLISSE ISSEY MIYAKE

Blurring the line between fashion and performance, the Japanese home of Homme Plisse’s Issey Miyake used a group of seemingly manipulative, dance-and-death acrobats for a stunning men’s show at Paris Fashion Week.

In eye-catching colors inspired by flowers and vases, models mingled with performers inside the newly renovated La Poste du Louvre to showcase unusual and delicate costume designs through dance.

From a hidden ledge high above the courtyard runway, a dance troupe suddenly stood in the middle of the show to gasp from the audience. In pastel-colored clothing with loose fitting folds, performers climb stairs, before performing death-defying jumps, falls and falls. The performers were tossed into the air like rockets, only to be caught by the dancers across the courtyard. There was no safety net above the hard stone floor.

The show was directed by Rachid Oramdine from Théâtre National de Chaillot, and features an acrobatic group, Compagnie XY.

The fashion itself was soft in comparison. The gradual curves of the neck and chest mimic the shapes of the delicately weighted vases that create a dynamic silhouette. A pastel red pleated jacket was twinned with a short tunic, with chest panels resembling an Asian warrior. Elsewhere, a vivid dandelion bodice with studded pockets rolled like an open flower.

Color blocking was also a strong theme – pastel purple contrasts with blush and raisin black in one look, and in another with bright yellow and midnight blue. It was a solid return to the runway for Homme Plisse in Issey Miyake.

Rick Owens Ancient Egypt

American designer Rick Owens plunged into the ancient world in search of inspiration, returning from his stay in Egypt and visiting the Temple of Edfu on the Nile.

The philosopher, Owens, often said that his “personal fears … seem insignificant in the face of this kind of immortality.” He’s commented in recent seasons on the impact of the pandemic on fashion and beyond — and embraced lockdown as a time for reflection.

Owens has always had an aesthetic take on the costume of ancient Egypt, with the toga, draperies, and styles of the High Priestess adorning the aisles of his display. But on Thursday’s show, he opened the dial for a very personal photo of such silhouettes.

He said, “It was lying in the dirt with a view of the Valley of the Kings from a perspective that I liked.”

Like the tall stone carvings of the ancient temple, the silhouettes were extended by layers of clothing to project the low diaphragm. Glowing dark trousers were very long in draped cloth along the stone steps as the models walked the Palais de Tokyo. It created an unconventional surreal effect.

“Extreme shoulders”—giant and rounded—created this look by the Egyptian priest, fashioned by the American fashion master in silk, chiffon, crisp cotton, and glowing plaids.

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