At a spacious venue in Bangkok, Abloh's Fall-Winter 2022 Louis Vuitton Spin-Off Show, called Dreamhouse², revisited some of the looks that we saw when the collection was first presented in February 2022, but it also debuted some never-before-seen creations envisioned by Abloh himself, bringing past and present together like Abloh so often did.
This Spin-Off Show concept is not unusual for Vuitton, which showed Abloh's Spring/Summer 2021 collection in Tokyo and Shanghai — you might remember that presentation as the one that inspired Walter Van Beirendonck to inexplicably call out Abloh over some teddy bears.
Again, treading familiar terrain, this Fall/Winter 2022 show was rooted in an exploration of youth, a theme that's been at the core of Abloh's Louis Vuitton vision since his first campaign. This time, the motif was explored in a short film created for the presentation by director Sivaroj Kongsakul.
“We might go to India or Kansas or Cuba, but wherever we go the focus is youth: the stage in your life before you’ve been taught or programmed to do, think or wear certain things,” Abloh said in June 2019, a quote circulated again by Louis Vuitton in reference to this FW22 collection.
“And in that study, you realize that teenagers on opposite sides of the world are dealing with the same things. It reflects the fact that, fundamentally, we are all one.”
The FW22 show is accompanied by yet another massive set of show notes informed by Abloh's creative process, nearly 50 pages of quotes, illustrations, and essays that explore Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2022.
There are direct snippets of Abloh-isms (“Art is made in hindsight,” “The world moves as fast as Instagram scrolls,” “I don’t believe in gender. I believe in design.”) and emojis aplenty, cheekily interrupting the painstaking exploration of the collection's motifs, from the Gustave Courbet and Giorgio de Chirico tapestry textiles to the giant angel wings that represent both "the childlike imagination of flying, and "the childlike imagination of flying" and "Heaven on Earth."
"I believe in nuance because I believe in the intelligence and perceptiveness of my audiences," said Abloh in a July 2020 dispatch included with the show notes. "As I proceed, and continue to infuse my vision with Black aesthetics and inclusivity, I will never underestimate them."
"I am interested in contributing to the progression of fashion’s relationship with labels and stereotypes... the nuanced idea of streetwear versus “streetwear” itself. In my game of inverted commas, streetwear is a community founded in subculture, while “streetwear” is a commodity founded in fashion"
It's a rich package of concepts that could function as a standalone coffee table book or even multiple editions; after all, Abloh and his team penned new and imposingly detailed dialogues for each seasonal collection.
While FW22 offers one last glimpse of a proper Abloh-designed collection, the late creative's legacy lingers.