The Virgil Abloh’s Vocabulary for Louis Vuitton SS19 Men

The Virgil Abloh’s Vocabulary for Louis Vuitton SS19 Men

286

1 – ‘The Vocabulary according to Virgil Abloh’
Louis Vuitton Men’s collection
by Virgil Abloh Spring–Summer 2019
‘The vocabulary according to Virgil Abloh’
A liberal definition of terms and explanation of ideas.

#
3%
The exact ratio needed to
twist a normative object into
something special.

A
Accessomorphosis

A portmanteau describing the
transformation of an accessory
into a garment, effectively
evolving its functional form.

After party
A social gathering following
a fashion show intended for
industry guests but made
great by the civilian fans of
the brand in question.

B
Bags

The ultimate expression of
utility. For Spring-Summer 2019,
bag designs are derived from
the icons of Louis Vuitton and
treated with Virgil Abloh’s 3%
methodology.

Biography
Born in 1980, Virgil Abloh was
raised in Rockford, Illinois.
He earned a civil engineering
degree from the University of
Wisconsin in 2002 and an MA in
architecture from the Illinois
Institute of Technology in
2006. Abloh served as creative
director for Kanye West until
launching his first label, Pyrex
Vision, in 2012. The year after,
he established Off-White.
Virgil Abloh joined Louis Vuitton
as Men’s Artistic Director in


March 2018.

C
Collaboration

A creative partnership between
people or brands in which
Virgil Abloh has often engaged
in the past. Likewise linked to
the business of Louis Vuitton
for over a century, the Spring-
Summer 2019 collection features
no collaboration.

Collar
A shirt or jacket component
indispensable in the codes of
formalwear – a sector native to
Louis Vuitton and foreign
to its designer – its tips
are clipped as a mark-making
2 – ‘The Vocabulary according to Virgil Abloh’
gesture of irony.
“Virgil Abloh was here.”

D
Denim

A workingman’s fabric typically
elevated in high fashion, this
common material relies on its
unrefined familiar appeal to
trigger the desired emotional
connection. Virgil Abloh was
raised on 1990s’ washed-out
Levi’s jeans, stiff and vintagefound.

Designer
“I don’t call myself a designer,
nor do I call myself an imagemaker.
I don’t reject the label
of either. I am not trying to
put myself on a pedestal, nor am
I trying to be more, now.
I would like to define the title
of Artistic Director for a new
and different era.” –Virgil Abloh.

Disc Jockey
“I like loud music.”
–Virgil Abloh.

Dorothy
A farm girl from the Midwest
transported to Oz, a fairy tale
land where she experiences
things beyond the reach of her
imagination. As an outsider,
she soon discovers she was taken
to Oz for a reason.

E
Exposure

An apparatus recognized by
designers in the social media
age of fashion. Can lead to
Artistic Director positions at
Louis Vuitton.

F
Fandom

A two-way worship between
a designer and his clientele,
fashion fandom mimics the codependent
relationship between
performer and supporter,
a connection native to music and
sports scenes.

G
Gloves

Coverings for the hands employed
by Virgil Abloh to accentuate
the signature accessories of
Louis Vuitton, the colors of
gloves are purposely matched to
the leather goods with which
they are paired.

Graphics
A signature facet in the work
of Virgil Abloh, graphic
ornamentation no longer takes
the form of prints but evolves
into artisanal insignia, handembroidered,
flocked and off
the grid. It is hand-placed
individually by Virgil Abloh.

Halo
A circle of light formed
around a fashion house and its
collections encompassing
the complete creative sphere and
significance of a designer.

2 – ‘The Vocabulary according to Virgil Abloh’
Harnessing
A term denoting a means of
safekeeping, and the conversion
of a decorative object into
useful ornamentation.

I
Irony

The philosophy of a new
generation. The presence of
Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton.

J
Jewelry

Objects of decoration often
characterized by an all-thatglitters-
is-gold understanding
of ornamentation, the Spring-
Summer 2019 jewelry appears
in ceramics or unrarefied
metals denoting a contrasting
celebration of non-precious
materials.

K
Kanye West

A mentor and friend to
Virgil Abloh.

L
Long-windedness

“A blessing and a curse.”
–Virgil Abloh.

Louis Vuitton
Parisian purveyor of leather
goods founded in 1854. Defined by
its Monogram, the House invented
logomania. Its brand value
retains unparalleled standing
across cultures and classes.

Luxury
A label determined by values,
codes and qualities, its use
and definition were the privilege
of few until a new generation
conquered its dominion and
shifted the paradigm for good.

M
Margielaism

A term applied to garments or
accessories which reflect the
normative fashion religion of
a reverent generation of young
or younger designers to which
Virgil Abloh belongs.

Millennial
A term applied to consumers
born between the late 1980s and
1990s, often linked to markets
associated with Virgil Abloh,
a non-millennial designer with
millennial sensibilities.

Model
A person identified by the
anatomical, racial and cosmetic
features of his appearance.
Or, by his artistry, individuality
and personality.

Motto
“Good style is always
off-putting.” –Virgil Abloh.

N
Normcore

The irony of a generation raised
on extravagance, and the makedo
and mend sensibility of those
with access to it.

4 – ‘The Vocabulary according to Virgil Abloh’

O
Off-White

A greige gradient of white,
which alters a component
familiar to all. It serves as
a blank canvas for perception
and interpretation.

Oz
A fantasy land visited by
country girl Dorothy in the
1939 film The Wizard of Oz.
Upon arrival after a cyclone
transports her there, she tells
her dog, “Toto, I’ve a feeling
we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

P
Palette

Black, white, off-white, and
taupe. Ruby shoe red, brick
road yellow, tin man metallic,
garland green, and rainbow.

Poppy
A ruby red flower, whose
exceptionally fragile
structure is contrasted by its
psychedelic, narcotic properties
and hallucinogenic powers.

Production
A metaphor for finding drama
in subtlety, the Spring-Summer 2019 audience of threethousand
people is formed by the
fashion industry and specially
invited students. It creates an
atmosphere representative of the
dual demographic which will be
wearing the collection at hand.
Set in the gardens framed by the
galleries of the Palais-Royal,
sand is rendered like
a rainbow while selected guests
wear corresponding t-shirts,
effectively activating the show
through attendance.

Psychedelia
Originally a term for art created
through means of intoxication,
it describes an innocent sense of
elation observed in trippy color
formations and kaleidoscopic
motifs.

R
Rainbow

A kaleidoscopic palette evolving
from off-white to polychromatic,
synchronously forming a
holographic archway known to
represent dreams. A motif in
The Wizard of Oz, which provides
construct to the Spring-Summer
2019 collection.

Rationale
The underlying method of the
Spring-Summer 2019 collection,
looks are generally designed
and styled employing the
construction of a top layer,
a bottom layer, a mid-layer and
an outer layer.

Rockford
The Illinois town in which
Virgil Abloh grew up, where
Midwestern practicality and
utilitarian workwear defined the
popular dress sense, effectively
creating an unintentional take
on anti-fashion.
5 – ‘The Vocabulary according to Virgil Abloh’

S
Shoes

The wardrobe component most
immediately indicative of an era
or movement, each shoe design
finds its origins in a sports or
vintage culture, from 1960s’
Chelsea boots to the golden era
of 1980s’ basketball trainers.
Silhouette
“Revert against stiff and formal.
Look as comfortable as you
feel.” –Virgil Abloh.

Sock
An unsung everyday necessity
first covered in rhinestones
by Michael Jackson in 1983,
inspiring a generation of
kids to elevate normality. As
a child, Virgil Abloh became
an early appropriator of the
glitter sock.

Soundtrack
An inherent musical
juxtaposition staged between
a psychedelic jazz intro by
BADBADNOTGOOD, which crescendos
into I Thought About Killing You
by Kanye West.

Staple
A twisted piece of metal that
holds two elements together.
A term for the essential garments
and accessories in a wardrobe.

Streetwear
A predictable clothing genre
in a renegade designer’s debut
collection as part of the
fashion establishment, but one
whose sportswear properties
are undergoing a critical
transformation into luxury.

Styling
Once simply the addendum to
a designer’s collection, it now
serves as a contemporary fashion
tool offered by a designer to the
public as an initiation of ideas
and ultimate self-expression.

Sunglasses
An accessory that gives the
impression of a complete look
in an instance. For Spring-
Summer 2019 sunglasses reference
eyewear from the Al Capone era
of Chicago – Virgil Abloh’s
former stomping grounds – and
riff on the 2005 Louis Vuitton
collaboration between
Pharrell Williams and Nigo.

Sweats
“Fashion can either ignore
what’s happening in the real
world, or partake in it.”
–Virgil Abloh.

T
Tailoring

The paradoxical uniform of
the business man, its suitcaseafflicted
creases have become
engrained in the anatomy of
the blazer, forever folded for
travel.

Taupe
Virgil Abloh’s favorite color
since 1980.
6 – ‘The Vocabulary according to Virgil Abloh’

Tie-dye
A homespun take on psychedelia,
its trippy effects is often
used to illustrate a state of
euphoria. The DIY dying technique
will hold nostalgic value to
those educated at the University
of Wisconsin, the foremost hippie
college of all time.

Timepieces
Functional fusions between
jewelry and clocks that
effectively create a process of
accessomorphosis, timepieces
have been turned into true
accessories through the
employment of ceramic links in
double-wrap configurations.

Tribal
A wealth of motifs identifying
a designer’s most original
origins and generational pride,
they serve as the earliest
memory of a boy raised by a
Ghanaian tailor mother and her
traditional West African garb.

U
Utility

Once the luxury of workwear,
utilitarian elements now provide
fashion with equal parts
functionality and pleonasm.
It is the usefulness of a multipocket
gilet, and the irony of
wallet situated at the ankle.

Z
“If you’ve made it this far,
thank you for your time.”
–Virgil.