Since taking over as Louis Vuitton men’s artistic director in 2018, Virgil Abloh has created grand sets for his fashion shows. For his debut, there was a 200 metre-long rainbow catwalk. There was also the New York sidewalk set, complete with artwork by Futura, from the Fall 2019 show. Last season, he worked with New York City-based creative studio Playlab, Inc. to bring an inflatable red LV bouncy castle, oversized LV monogrammed park benches, and crepe stands to the Place Dauphine, where the show took place. “There were multiple themes but it’s really about making people feel like a kid again and this beauty of boyhood, childhood, and positivity,” Playlab, Inc. co-founder Archie Lee Coates IV told us.
At his Fall/Winter 2020 show this past week, where Abloh presented his take on male dress codes, he worked with Playlab, Inc. once again, this time transforming a tent in the Tuileries Gardens. The runway and walls of the space were painted like a cloudy sky, with a giant beanstalk running through the middle. Scattered throughout the runway were gargantuan models of tools used by LV craftsmen, including a pencil, a spool of thread, and scissors. It seemed to be partly inspired by a scene from “The Truman Show” with Jim Carrey.
A few designers, like Raf Simons and Rick Owens, chose to present their latest collections amidst very minimal settings. Often, it was just a runway show and no specific build outs (Raf painted his runway a bright yellow), but it felt more than enough. The clothes were that good that it didn’t feel necessary. But Abloh’s approach to set design has helped enforce the theme of his collections and have made his shows truly a spectacle, with plenty to look at.—Karizza Sanchez