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Vuitton's Abloh celebrates Michael Jackson in Paris menswear

Published:Friday | January 18, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Models wear creations for the Vuitton men's Fall/Winter 2019/20 fashion collection presented in Paris on Thursday.
The first African-American to head a major European fashion house Virgil Abloh presented this year's collection as an ode to Micheal Jackson.


Louis Vuitton's designer Virgil Abloh transported celebrity guests at Paris Fashion Week to the graffitied streets of New York in a dramatic menswear ode to Michael Jackson.

Abloh, the first African-American to head a major European fashion house, used his unique platform on Thursday to celebrate one of America's most globally recognised and celebrated black performers.

Model Naomi Campbell and actors Timothee Chalamet and Joel Edgerton seemed amazed to discover a reconstructed cityscape that evoked the King of Pop's famed music videos, all inside the Tuileries Gardens.

A young, skinny actor resembling the late Jackson as a boy, drew applause as he ran and danced across the impressive set of a poor New York neighbourhood.

No detail was spared. Guests clutched their show invites, which comprised a single bejewelled white glove as their eyes were led past a Chinese business store, New York street signs, sidewalks littered with dead leaves, and a barber shop ending at a saxophonist playing on the street.

Campbell nodded to the beat of the soundtrack an infectious checklist of Jackson's greatest hits that had some humming well after the show had ended.

"It's Michael Jackson. My hero!" she exclaimed.


Abloh Revisits Jackson


It was the flamboyance of Michael Jackson as seen through the classical prism of Louis Vuitton.

The silhouettes of some of the late star's most eye-popping looks were taken by Abloh and revisited in a slightly more pared-down style.

A military jacket and large sash that might have come across overly showy were designed in a tasteful pearl-grey monochrome cashmere.

Elsewhere, a giant cropped jacket with stiff padded lapels was saved from excess with soft charcoal flannel twill.

The signature layering of the singer, who died in 2009, was ubiquitous in the 64-piece parade that went from the subtle to the not so subtle towards the end.

An overlaid silver parka coat in aluminium foil leather and a silver safety vest were among the most literal of the Jackson odes and recalled some of his most spectacular concert performances, as did the models who wore jewelled gloves.

Later in the show, Abloh made a series of prints based on a cartoon in Jackson's 1978 film The Wiz, which became a cult classic among black audiences.

Abloh called his hero, Jackson, "the universal symbol of unity on the planet". Though touching, the collection could have perhaps done without the scarf shirts fashioned out of global flags that came across as a tad busy and somewhat obvious.