As we were privileged enough to have done at the end of last year, FashionWindows today again had the exclusive chance to come to the preview showing of the upcoming fall-winter 2019/2020 collection designed by Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton. The Italian spring had truly come into effect as we made our way to the center of Milan to see what we were very curious to know – if the hype from Virgil’s inaugural collection at the helm of Louis Vuitton’s creative direction, would sustain itself into the next coming of Abloh, his FW19/20 collection. Having been presented during the last Fashion Week in Paris, the collection had felt tighter, more focused, as if Abloh finally had room to exhale after living up to the rather substantial pressure he’d undergone in the first round.
Housed this time in a beautiful showroom on the first floor just off the sun draped promenade of via Dante, once entering the showroom, the collection had been loosely divided into two, with the luggage and travel accessories on the left and the Ready-to-wear clothing in a room on the right. We started with the luggage. Contrasting the multicolored aesthetic from SS19, the FW season luggage is presented almost entirely in black, with small splashes of rainbow-colored detailings within minimal borders and cross-shaped patterns, a subtle nod to Virgil’s own OFF-White branding. In the corner stood a see-through “Keep All” duffle bag, we did not recognize from the Paris show, which we later found out was the housing for the color shifting bag that had made such an impression during the PFW presentatio
As we crossed the room into the Ready-to-wear and sneaker section, the first things that, quite naturally caught our eyes, were the two oversized companion pieces that created a big reaction also at the Paris show, the oversized backpack, and its big padded jacket friend. Both had come off as being a bit much during the show, but in reality, they simply conveyed a feeling of great comfort and a longing to instantly want to try them on, a good sign for any fashion piece. Like last time, upon entering the realm of the tactile, one can only tip one’s hat when it comes to the incredible fashion craft prowess that lies behind these true luxury brands. The stitching lies next to perfection and there’s barely a fiber that feels out of place. A testament to the many man hours that go into bringing these pieces to life. The padded jacket hung accompanied by a monochromatic grey section, which included a parka so heavily padded it felt more like a bathrobe, together with various tops and jeans.
Next to hung the clearly minimized section of pieces that had had Michael Jackson at the heart of their inspiration. A heavyweight sequin lined top and a pearl-studded jacket, which resembled perfectly formed water droplets, clearly gave the message that this was the rockstar section.
On the opposing wall hung the more adventurous pieces, a leather jacket with an American and Ghanan flag on its collar, a multicolored cape gave way to knee length jackets and matching pants with a Houndstooth like pattern formed out of the shape of the African continent, a see-through baroque pattern shirt and large cover all print short sleeve shirt. In the corner stood the presentations definitive piece, a full leather LV patterned jacket which had fused with the utilitarian vest from the SS19 collection into one powerful piece.
Between the two walls ran an isle that showed off more of the FW19 accessories, again the many colorways of spring had been replaced by black with accentuated rainbow prism colored symbols and shapes.
A divider of opinions from the SS19 collection had clearly been the sneakers, the retro-inspired sport shoe silhouettes had sparked mixed reactions, which are sure to continue with the new skateboard inspired silhouettes, that begs the question if the world is ready to embrace a luxury made skate shoe?
In conclusion, the FW19/20 presentation from LV feels all together tighter, the spring range did scream louder but in honesty, the number of wearable pieces feels to have increased. A Virgil that is comfortable in his new, yet be it slightly more established, position at LV shines through the Fall / Winter range and we expect it to do nothing but unfold very successfully.