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Virgil Abloh's Most Memorable Collections from Paris Fashion Week

November 30, 2021
2021-11-30
Virgil Abloh, the founder of Off-White and creative director of Louis Vuitton's menswear line, has passed away at age 41. Survived by his wife, son, and brother, the designer privately fought a fierce battle against cancer. Even as he appeared to bow at the end of every fashion show and was spotted with countless celebrities, only a few people knew what he was going through. Despite that, Abloh was a major creative force in the fashion industry, making history left and right. His vision and voice soon became one of the most influential, starting trends and redefining styles. And among his many collections in Paris Fashion Week, a few stand out as the most memorable.

Virgil Abloh's Most Memorable Collections from Paris Fashion Week


Off-White Autumn 2017 Menswear

I’m not trying to be fashionable; fashion is now a styling conversation,” Virgil Abloh once said backstage of his Off-White autumn 2017 show during Paris Men's Fashion Week. Though the late designer is known—some may argue even notorious—for having been a pioneer of luxury streetwear, he was never one to fixate on trends. And this menswear collection. Though this show brought about its own set of fads, his more mature and unique norm-core approach to streetwear went away with the sporty styles that dominated runways at the time. He presented a more mature look, one that separates himself from the rest of the pack. In many ways, this collection solidified Abloh as one of the French menswear designers to watch.
Source: FF Channel YouTube Channel


Off-White Autumn 2017 Womenswear

Not to be one-upped by the men, Abloh's autumn 2017 womenswear show for Off-White also had that emotional and more sophisticated twang as the menswear. But while the latter was more on elevating streetwear to a more elegant degree, this collection exhibited Abloh's romantic side for the first time. Amidst his usual sea of structured outerwear, played-up denim, streetwear staples, wafting dresses in gentle tones of blush and warm gray added a softness to it all. While the black-lace inserts held a sexier bourgeoisie appeal.
Source: FF Channel YouTube Channel


Off-White Spring 2018 Menswear

Shown in a dimly-lit space with the spotlight only hitting the models as they walked by, Abloh's spring 2018 show for Off-White was a revelation. It was this moment in Paris Men's Fashion Week that changed the industry's view of the designer from a mere trendsetter and creative to a disruptive force to be reckoned with. Amidst what was happening in the world at the time, Abloh decidedly put on a heavily political show, coming out strong with startling lines of war poems plastered on t-shirts, causal tailoring, and the like. By the end of the show, it became clear what Abloh's role was in fashion.
Source: FF Chanel YouTube Channel


Off-White Spring 2018 Womenswear

If there was ever a show that proved that Virgil Abloh's Off-White label can go head-to-head with other French designer brands, it was his spring 2018 presentation during the ready-to-wear Paris Fashion Week. This collection piled on the old-school haute couture references, from strict tailoring to the dreamy flou that often dominated red carpet events. The sophistication of the craft, the tongue-in-cheek playfulness of the Frenc, and the sensual joie de vivre of Paris were all there. Though modernized by way of deconstruction of hints of sportswear, these clothes still emanated a classic Parisian look. And no less than legendary supermodel Naomi Campbell gave her stamp of approval by walking for the brand for the first time.
Source: FF Channel YouTube Channel


Louis Vuitton Spring 2019 Menswear

Louis Vuitton's spring 2012 menswear show during Paris Men's Fashion Week will forever be remembered as a turning point for both Virgil Abloh's career and the history of the fashion industry. Upon taking up the reigns as the new creative director for Louis Vuitton's menswear line, Abloh became the first designer of African-descent to ever lead a global fashion brand. So it was only natural that his debut collection at the label would make it onto this list. But even beyond this historic undertone, the collection itself was a celebration of diversity; a parade of neon hues, oversized sportswear, eased-up tailoring, eye-catching motifs, and more. As for its title, Abloh appropriately named it, 'We Are The World.'
Source: Louis Vuitton YouTube Channel


Off-White Spring 2019 Womenswear

The image of Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner stomping the runway in stark-white shirts and skin-tight mini skirts has become iconic. The American supermodel opened Abloh's spring 2019 show for Off-White during Paris Fashion Week, followed by a diverse cast of women. And by diverse, this doesn't just mean skin color and race. The show most notably featured Olympic gold medalist athletes such as the UK's Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Hong Kong's Cecilia Yeung, and more. Blending in with the supermodel crowd, these athletic superstars harkened Abloh's return to form, presenting what he does best: sportswear.
Source: FF Channel YouTube Channel


Off-White Autumn 2019 Womenswear

Perhaps, out of all of Virgil Abloh's womenswear collection for Off-White, his autumn 2019 described his style best. Although the show was laid out with tons of obvious sporty racecar references, the collection itself exhibits his couture-standard skills and sophisticated eye. Gone are the straightforward trendy streetwear that most Abloh fans go gaga over then. This collection presented his identifiable style in full force, combining both his sporty aesthetic with his fascination with classic French style. Shimmering bombers were cinched and designed like trench coats while sporty fabrics like neoprene were cut into frilly, diaphanous midi-dresses. And by the end, supermodels Karlie Kloss and Gigi Hadid closed the show in billowing ball gowns, proving Abloh's potential for haute couture.
Source: FF Channel YouTube Channel


Off-White Spring 2020 Menswear

Virigl Abloh was a frequent collaborator. Though his own voice disrupted fashion in many ways, he always sought to partner up with other creatives to make way for new ideas, fresher takes, and, of course, more exciting fashions. A perfect example was his spring 2020 menswear collection for Off-White. For this show, he partnered up with New York artist Futura (also known as Lenny McGurr) and presented a heavily and outwardly artistic line. The first look alone, a white set of casual separated decorated with child-like doodles, already gave away the mood of the moment. The youthfulness in each look was in full force, further proving how Abloh, compared to all the designers and labels, was most in touch with the current generation.
Source: FF Channel YouTube Channel


Louis Vuitton Autumn 2021 Menswear

In what became his second-to-the-last menswear show for Louis Vuitton, Abloh embraced his race, history, and 'otherness.' Presented during the autumn 2021 Paris Men's Fashion Week, at a time when the Black Lives Matter movement was at its most tumultuous, the collection brimmed with all sorts of African-American and African references. The more obvious ones were the snazzy (yet oversized) suits with matching chapéus which harkened back to the 20s Jazz Age in New Orleans, a turning point in Black American culture. While gigantic coats and furs had a hip-hop spirit to them, another style that's dominated by Black influence.
Source: Louis Vuitton YouTube Channel

Through his many Paris Fashion Week collections, his outstanding creativity, his disruptive presence, his historic feats, and his undeniable charm, the late great Virgil Abloh, who recently passed away at age 41, and his legacy will always be remembered!

Many of Virgil Abloh's amazing creations will only fit big closets, the kind you'd see in Paris luxury homes.




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