“The ∞th Field”: Virgil Abloh’s Final Collection for Louis Vuitton F/W 22
A collection of dreams and fantasy, we take a look at Virgil Abloh’s final collection for Louis Vuitton.
Step inside “The ∞th Field”, a place of dreams and whimsy, where dreamers never leave. As the final show for Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton, the F/W 22 Paris showing paid homage to the late designer’s one of a kind vision. The fashion house presents the last collection of his work as a dream you never want to wake up from.
As the eight chapter in his story at Vuitton, Abloh creates the Louis Dreamhouse as the premise for the F/W 22 collection. Looking through the free eyes of a child, Abloh explores the bounds of imagination. He sees the world as not a place of reality, but a place where surrealism and fantasy have the ability to manifest in real life.
Heavily inspired by fantasy and a boyhood ideology, Abloh used certain motifs in the designs for this collection to express “Imagery of natural, supernatural and spiritual forces – time, magic, creation”. Taking shape in the form of wizards, animals, angel wings, cherubs, clouds, sky-blue bags, and cartoons of the Grim Reaper, each motif serves a different purpose for Abloh’s dream house.
Abloh drew inspiration from different works as art for this collection as well. The Painter’s Studio by surrealist Gustave Courbet and Souvenir d’Italie by surrealist Giorgio de Chirico were made into prints for pieces in the collection.
Courbet’s piece is used as a vessel to share Abloh’s Tourist vs. Purist® analogy. Abloh saw a two diverse groups in his audience, the Tourist, who “aspires towards an esoteric domain of fashion and art”, and the Purist, “who already occupies it”. The difference in status between the painter and French socialites in the artwork is meant to represent these two groups.
Chirico’s piece represents the “topics of originality, provenance, reference and self-reference often examined by Virgil Abloh.”
Knowing the background behind the collection helps visualize the whimsical nature of the collection. Although all meant to be connected by the Dream House, there was no common theme to the clothes that came down the Vuitton runway. Whether it was through the design of the garment or its accompanying accessories, they shared a fantastical element. Abloh created a mix of garments that look mismatched, but all blend effortlessly. A series of suits that range in colors from black, to emerald green, to the notable purple shade Abloh’s used in his previous Vuitton collections, take over the collection. Each suit is tailored to each of the models figures perfectly. Some are more fitted and give an hourglass shape, while others keep a straight cut to give a more baggy and loose feel.
The denim presented in this collection is going to be one of the most sought after pieces. Printed on an acid washed denim, the Louis Vuitton monogram covers every inch of the baggy, ‘90s style jean. With perfectly placed rips in the knee, these jeans are sure to be worn by the Vuitton lovers and monogram maniacs across the board. Another monogrammed piece that will be a staple item is the chain-mail inspired top and skirt. Different symbols of the Vuitton monogram hold together dainty strands of white chain. The set features a matching tank top and skirt that are styled over a black long sleeve tee and skirt ensemble.
Zip up hoodies, varsity jackets, and different styles of coats were staple pieces of this collection. The shows feature dancer wore a white and floral lace zip up hoodie for the majority of the show. The lace detailing gave this masculine looking garment a soft and feminie touch. A miniscule change that made all the difference in the world. It elevated the typical zip up hoodie into a high fashion garment. For the varsity jackets, Abloh stuck with his purple shade for the body, and used white and yellow detailing. The varsity jacket featured a big “LV” patch on the front, with cartoon character patches placed on other sections of the garment. On the back, a giant yellow cartoon frog took up the empty space. It doesn’t fit in with the sleek designs of the rest of the collection, but adds to the theme of fantasy.
The accessories were nothing but eye catching. Dramatically oversized snapback caps were a featured look. Some were white and puffed up, others were black and featured cat-like ears. The show stopper hat was all red with a long tulle veil covering the face and back of the model. Brightly patterned balaclavas were another common accessory. Paired with all black outfits, they added a pop of color in a unique place, but did not take away from the overall look.
The most interesting head accessories were the bird mask and fly eye mask. Inspired by the masks from the Black Plague, the white bird mask aided the fantastical theme of the show. The black mask shaped the look like eyes of a fly aided the them as well.
As with all Louis Vuitton collections, the bags were phenomenal. Abloh designed rock climbing rocks to look like the different characters of the Vuitton monogram. Placed on light gray duffle bags, the pieces had the look of a Louis Vuitton rock wall. Other bags feature floral embellishments that create a handheld garden, and others look like they have been spray painted a dusty fuschia.
To end the show, models dressed in all white suits were the last to walk. The music changed for uptempo orchestra to Tyler the Creator’s “See You Again”. Two models wore lace structures that looked like angel wings; they are Virgil’s angels. It is with this show that we honor the late and legendary Virgil Abloh and remember his artistry and creativity. We must leave the dream field of “The ∞th Field”, and come back to reality.