Last season, Abloh’s backdrop was a New York street facade made of plywood like a Hollywood stage set, but this time around he was keeping it real. Today, he commandeered a tree-lined Parisian square, the Place Dauphine on Île de la Cité in the middle of the River Seine.
Guests sat at traditional Parisian café tables lining the runway or on supersize Louis Vuitton–logo park benches painted in gardening green. Food carts serving ice cream and crepes came similarly hued and branded, while red balloons twisted into flowers by street performers matched an enormous bouncy castle in the center of the square.
Vuitton was the antithesis of Rick Owens’ show earlier today, which made a statement about American politics. Owens wrote in his show notes that the U.S. president’s “fixation on a border wall” motivated him “to explore my personal Mexicanness” — hence the Azteca ceremonial music and “megalace” runner collaboration with artist Thomas Houseago, of hieroglyphic-inspired wall sculpture fame.
Abloh’s concept was a return to childhood innocence — hence the kites and the rubber boots. The latter came in shiny monogram-neoprene-mix styles and as lace-up rangers with neoprene cuffs. Some came painted with naïve floral motifs, evoking the floral carpet at Abloh’s own label Off-White show yesterday. Runners, meanwhile, had the ’90s vibe of the retro mood that’s been gaining momentum as the Paris Fashion Week Men’s spring ’20 shows progress.
The structure of a kite also evokes the geometric cuts of Abloh’s suiting and the garment accessory hybrids that have become his Vuitton signature. Don’t forget that as well as a talented showman asserting his label’s hegemony over Paris, he’s also a trained architect.
See more photos of Louis Vuitton’s spring 2020 runway at Paris Fashion Week Men’s.
Virgil Abloh Debuts All-Orange Louis Vuitton Capsule Collection
Ballet Flats for Men, Variations on the Boot and Futuristic Oxfords Kick Off Paris Fashion Week Men’s Spring 2020
Christian Louboutin Debuts Nudes Collection for Men at Paris Fashion Week