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Virgil Abloh celebrates Michael Jackson in Louis Vuitton menswear line

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 17: Designer Virgil Abloh walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 17, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 775272537

Designer Virgil Abloh walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 17, 2019 in Paris, France. | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

PARIS — Louis Vuitton’s designer Virgil Abloh transported celebrity guests at Paris Fashion Week to the graffitied streets of New York in a dramatic menswear ode to Michael Jackson.

Abloh, a Rockford native and the first African-American to head a major European fashion house, used his unique platform Thursday to celebrate one of America’s most globally recognized and celebrated black performers.

Here are some highlights of Thursday’s fall-winter shows.

Model Naomi Campbell and actors Timothee Chalamet and Joel Edgerton seemed amazed to discover a reconstructed cityscape that evoked the King of Pop’s famed music videos, all inside the Tuileries Gardens.

A young, skinny actor resembling the late Jackson as a boy drew applause as he ran and danced across the impressive set of a poor New York neighborhood.

No detail was spared.

Guests clutched their show invites that comprised a single bejeweled white glove, as their eyes were led past a Chinese business store, New York street signs, sidewalks littered with dead leaves, and a barber shop ending at a saxophonist playing on the street.
Campbell nodded to the beat of the soundtrack — an infectious checklist of Jackson’s greatest hits that had some humming well after the show had ended.

“It’s Michael Jackson. My hero,” she exclaimed.

It was the flamboyance of Michael Jackson as seen through the classical prism of Louis Vuitton.

Models wear creations (some with an homage to Michael Jackson) by Virgil Abloh for the Louis Vuitton men's Fall/Winter 2019/20 fashion collection presented in Paris, Thursday Jan.17, 2019.| AP Photo/Francois Mori

Models wear creations (some with an homage to Michael Jackson) by Virgil Abloh for the Louis Vuitton men’s Fall/Winter 2019/20 fashion collection presented in Paris, Thursday Jan.17, 2019.| AP Photo/Francois Mori

The silhouettes of some of the late star’s most eye-popping looks were taken by Abloh and revisited in a slightly more pared-down style.

A military jacket and large sash — that might have come across overly showy — were designed in a tasteful pearl-gray monochrome cashmere.

Elsewhere, a giant cropped jacket with stiff padded lapels was saved from excess with soft charcoal flannel twill.

The signature layering of the singer, who died in 2009, was ubiquitous in the 64-piece parade that went from the subtle to the not so subtle toward the end.

Models sporting Michael Jackson-inspired fashions by Virgil Abloh, walk the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 17, 2019 in Paris, France. An overlaid silver parka coat in aluminum foil leather and a silver safety vest were among the most literal of the Jackson odes and recalled some of his most spectacular concert performances. | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Models sporting Michael Jackson-inspired fashions by Virgil Abloh, walk the runway during the Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2019-2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 17, 2019 in Paris, France. An overlaid silver parka coat in aluminum foil leather and a silver safety vest were among the most literal of the Jackson odes and recalled some of his most spectacular concert performances. | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

An overlaid silver parka coat in aluminum foil leather and a silver safety vest were among the most literal of the Jackson odes and recalled some of his most spectacular concert performances, as did the models who wore jeweled gloves.

Later in the show, Abloh made a series of prints based on a cartoon in Jackson’s 1978 film “The Wiz” that became a cult classic among black audiences.

Abloh called his hero, Jackson, “the universal symbol of unity on the planet.” Though touching, the collection could have perhaps done without the scarf shirts fashioned out of global flags that came across as a tad busy and somewhat obvious.

THOMAS ADAMSON, AP Fashion Writer