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VIRGIL ABLOH'S HIDDEN TRIBUTE IN LOUIS VUITTON DEBUT



The industry went crazy when the news broke that Virgil Abloh would assume the role of creative director at Louis Vuitton. Often hailed as the "Karl Lagerfeld of his generation," Abloh's appointment marked a shift in the world of fashion. He didn't just step into the role; he redefined it, infusing it with hip-hop, skateboard culture, and community. Anticipation soared within the industry for his debut collection at Louis Vuitton, which many believed paid homage to 'The Wizard of Oz,' a film that mirrored Abloh’s boundary-breaking journey.


However, the genesis of Abloh's inspiration traces back to an obscure corner of the early internet: the urban legend known as 'The Dark Side of the Rainbow.'



This phenomenon, which became viral in the digital underground of Usenet groups in the '90s, involved synchronising Pink Floyd's album 'Dark Side of the Moon' with the classic film 'The Wizard of Oz.' The result? A fascinating synchronicity of music and film, sparking fascination among generations of pot smokers, particularly those of the Gen X era.


In 1994, a curious college freshman named Charlie Savage stumbled upon this digital marvel and decided to put the legend to the test. To his astonishment, the elements aligned harmoniously. Charlie, then an intern at the Journal Gazette, wrote an article for a column tailored to Gen X readers. Little did he know, his words would spark a wildfire of fascination, leading him to immortalize the phenomenon through a website that quickly garnered viral status. By 1997, 'The Dark Side of the Rainbow' made its grand debut on the screens of MTV.




Fast forward to 2019, when Virgil Abloh emerged as a disruptor in the world of fashion, breaking barriers as one of the few Black designers to helm a major luxury brand. While the industry believed his debut collection at Louis Vuitton drew inspiration solely from 'The Wizard of Oz,' Abloh's influence ran deeper.


As models walked down a rainbow-colored runway, accompanied by a live performance of Pink Floyd's 'Breathe,' Virgil Abloh's homage to 'The Dark Side of the Rainbow' became unmistakable.



From the prism-like leather handbags echoing the album's artwork to the dark silhouettes of 'The Wizard of Oz,' each detail echoed Abloh's deep immersion in the cosmic fusion of music, film, and early internet culture.





Even this hoodie is an unmistakable reference to the album cover.





This revelation crystallized further in 2020 when Abloh, in a tweet, offered a rare peek into his creative process at Louis Vuitton. Against the backdrop of 'The Wizard of Oz,' the haunting melodies of Pink Floyd emphasized Abloh's profound connection to the phenomenon that captivated his generation.



In essence, Abloh's journey transcends mere fashion; it encapsulates a profound dialogue between art, technology, and culture. By bridging the realms of internet culture and high fashion, Abloh not only pays homage to his inspirations but also shows the enduring influence of the digital age on creative expression. In Virgil Abloh's universe, the echoes of 'The Dark Side of the Rainbow' reverberate, reminding us of the boundless possibilities that await those willing to explore the intersections of culture and imagination.


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