Behind the Scenes of Louis Vuitton’s Menswear Experiment, Starring Rosalía


Thursday’s Louis Vuitton Men’s show featured two surprises. One, announced a week and a half ago, was that the designer Colm Dillane of KidSuper had been embedded with the house’s menswear studio to contribute to the collection. The other, revealed at the outset of the show, was that the French luxury monolith had tapped another rising star to help bring some energy to the runway: the red-hot Rosalía. Louis Vuitton’s men’s side might be undergoing a drawn-out creative transitional period, ever since the tragic death of Virgil Abloh in late 2021. But they still know how to engineer the grandest fashion spectacle in Paris.

At Vuitton, Abloh perfected the formula for the mega-show engineered for maximum virality: pack the front row with zeitgeisty celebrities, sprinkle in plenty of wow-factor clothes, get the music right, and package it all inside a highly-Instagrammable set. Thursday’s show had all of the above. Inside an auditorium on the grounds of the Louvre, the famous French music video luminaries Michel and Olivier Gondry constructed an elaborate runway that wound through and around the rooms of a house, decorated to symbolize one’s growth from childhood to adolescence; toys at one end, a drum set at the other. The creative director Ibrahim Kamara, whom Abloh hired at Vuitton and Off-White, styled the show.

The first surprise, Dillane’s collaboration, naturally invited speculation that he will be picked as the next permanent creative director of Louis Vuitton men’s. Some of the dozen-plus looks he contributed this season were memorable, particularly a parka covered in an abstract monogram collage and an overcoat and suit covered in a jacquard version of a Dillane painting created for the collection. The collage appeared across several bags, grails-to-be for KidSuper’s rapidly growing fanbase. I happened to be sitting a few guests over from Dillane’s beaming parents, who clapped and took photos whenever his design signatures passed in front of them. They were, his father said after the show, incredibly proud of Colm, whose fashion journey began in his high school cafeteria, where he sold T-shirts to his friends.

But it was Rosalía who stole the show. As she danced on top of a yellow cab parked on the runway in front of the press section, twisting and stomping inside her oversized Louis Vuitton puffer, it seemed that everyone in the audience had to remember to look at the models strolling around her. At one point, Kodak Black stood up to take a better video of the performance and ended up slowly dancing along. Rosalía’s performance didn’t much tie in to the childhood theme or to Dillane’s Brooklyn background and wide-eyed brand of creativity. Not that it mattered: the audience was riveted all the same, an extraordinary performance in a moment of creative uncertainty.

GQ had exclusive access backstage before the show. Keep scrolling to see how it all went down.


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