Louis Vuitton pulled out all the stops at its Spring/Summer 2023 menswear show, the house's first full collection designed sans Virgil Abloh.
Set at the Louvre, the sprawling runway was part Yellow Brick Road, part life-size toy race track — a playful set in line with the label's SS23 show invites, tiny pop-up board games complete with dice and paper miniatures.
In a sort of pre-show, a full marching band — the Florida A&M University Marching 100, to be exact — put on a performance of epic proportions, setting the stage for an equally spectacular runway
Almost as soon as the marching band exited and made way for models, Kendrick Lamar began rapping from his spot in the front row, providing a semi-live soundtrack to the show.
As for the actual clothes, the collection was imbued with Abloh's spirit.
One suit was adorned with paper airplanes, a recurring motif utilized by the house's late creative director.
Bags arrived in the form of leather buses and LV-branded Ziplocs. Outerwear and suiting were accented with dangly charms shaped like scissors, screws, and saws.
And in a grand runway finale, models carried a rainbow banner down the runway as Lamar chanted: "Long live Virgil."
That wasn't it, though! FAMU's marching band bookended the show with a closing performance that welcomed the Louis Vuitton design team — the collective mind behind SS23 in Abloh's absence — onto the runway. Their appearance was yet another reminder of fashion's biggest question mark: who will succeed Abloh?
We didn't get answers today but all signs point to an imminent announcement.