Pop superstar Rosalia grabbed all the attention at the Louis Vuitton show in Paris on Thursday, almost to the point of distracting from the clothes.
The French label spared no expense for the most anticipated show of menswear fashion week, with a vast hangar constructed alongside the Louvre, containing a stage made up like an open-plan house for the models to saunter through.
But the audience struggled to keep their eyes off the Spanish star, who delivered a blistering set of flamenco, rap and pop while parading around the set, lounging in its bed and clambering on top of a car.
Louis Vuitton is still searching for a successor to designer Virgil Abloh, who died aged just 41 from cancer in late 2021.
Thursday’s show was given over to a collective, including Colm Dillane, the wunderkind behind hot new brand Kidsuper, and Ibrahim Kamara from Abloh’s own label Off-White.
Guests, who included singers J-Balvin and BTS’s J-Hope, were given a movie clapper-board for their invitation, and the show was kickstarted by a short film co-directed by Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”).
Somewhere among all this showbiz were some clothes, and those who were able to pay attention got a rich and colourful collection, ranging from high-fashion pieces that evoked the label’s recent tie-up with Japanese polka-dot artist Yayoi Kusama, glittering jackets, huge puffy versions of its iconic bags, and a hat-and-suit combo that seemed to be made from sheets of writing paper.
A few names are circulating to succeed Abloh, including Grace Wales Bonner, a Brit who gave a strong showing with her first physical show at Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday.
But Louis Vuitton seems happy to ride the wave created by Abloh, a former Kanye West collaborator who brought an uber-cool edge of US street culture to the fabled French house.
“Abloh put a very strong spotlight on the Vuitton men’s streetwear universe,” Arnaud Cadart, of PR firm Flornoy Ferri, told AFP.
“Vuitton can afford to continue on this path as long as there isn’t a challenger who jostles them.”
“They don’t urgently need a replacement,” agreed Benjamin Simmenauer, a professor at the French Fashion Institute.
“We haven’t forgotten Virgil Abloh — we continue to celebrate him, which is rare in the world of fashion where everything goes extremely fast,” he said. (AFP)