The spirit of Virgil lives on in Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 23 men’s collection

The essence of Virgil is still very present in Louis Vuitton’s men’s workshop. Throughout his brief but immeasurable tenure at the helm of Louis Vuitton for men, showmanship, experimentation and the intersections of art, music and design have been at the forefront. And today’s Spring/Summer 23′ collection captures all that and more.

The show, nestled in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum, began with a musical precession, which is to be expected as music/synesthesia are pillars of the Virgil brand philosophy. Accompanied by drum majors, the illustrious FAMU “Marching 100” brought that signature HBCU marching band sound to the 1st arrondissement.

Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage

It was a love letter to the playful spirit of Virgil, who often spoke of creating from “a child’s untouched imagination”. Inspired by a toy car track, the set anchored the 72-look collection in this children’s emporium space of wonder. Motocross designs, costumes adorned with toolbox embellishments, an over-the-top surreal loudspeaker, tulle skirts, bags shaped like toy cars, fridge magnet letters and a sherbet color palette.

Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The collection places a strong emphasis on tailoring. From the lilac opening color story of the structured suits and coats to the delicate tailoring of floral appliqués that closed the show. There’s a strong visual language that takes shape through embellishment and accessories, but the clothes themselves are quite wearable in their form. Take look 48, an understated and simplistic white 3-button suit. It’s quite portable on its own, but on the trail is shown with tassels made to look like toolbox items (screws, chisels, Phillips wrench). This speaks directly to the notion of world-building that Virgil consistently channeled.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Sherbet coats, crocheted florals, fortune cookie-shaped bags, costumes decorated with tactile paper airplanes, and more, the collection is contagiously joyful and an incredible labor of love!

Kendrick Lamar performed a live ode in honor of his friend, Virgil Abloh, as longtime friends and collaborators like Naomi got it all figured out. Louis Vuitton’s men’s studio, led by Off-White’s artistic and image director, Ib Kamara, has bowed out. Virgil inspired a generation of multi-hyphenate young people to dream without limits, and that same inhibition is still present in Louis Vuitton’s men’s studio. As social media and the fashion industry as a whole grapple with who will take the helm, one thing is pretty clear; “Virgil is (still) here.”

TOPICS: louis vuitton fashion man virgil abloh