My father-in-law has one of the finest and most impressive Wayne Gretzky memorabilia collections on the planet. Mint rookie cards?i He’s got ’em. Warhol prints featuring The Great One?ii He couldn’t not. Statues? Sticks? Primo jerseys?iii More than you can count. Obsessive doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Now I’m not that much of a “collector” myself, but like Justice Potter Stewart, I know “art” when I see it. So it is that “ROOKIE JERSEY” (2019) is now on the wall in my home office.iv

Part of the impetus for framing and hanging this particular streetwear-cum-haute-luxev garment was that COVID has me trapped in my home office far more than usual and the largely barren walls finally got to me.vi Additionally, the returns to flashy textiles in a physically disengaged world will frankly continue to be piss poor for a bit. Then there’s the not-so-minor fact that this framing project was really the plan all along; it was merely a matter of time. This “crisis” served only to accelerate already inevitable change, here as everywhere else, because when I bought the piece 16 months ago, I had exactly this “out” in mind for the day when the fickle winds of fashion would force my hand.vii

Now, having worn “poppies” maybe 3-4 times, and with no obvious opportunities to pop it on again given how well Nike Dri-Fit, a bit of Lulu, and a smattering of OW work for pretty much every single day, it seemed an awful shame to tuck away such a beautiful piece of sculpture in my closet just so my cat Benny can sleep on it.

So here she is, pinned up and primped up, in all her UltraVue art glass glory:viii

Virgil LV Poppies Hoodie Framed - 1

Great Ones don’t come along that often, but we know them when we see them, and it’s all we can do to catch a little ray of their sunshine to help us grow.

That’s what “childhood” is all about.
___ ___ ___

  1. Comparable auction results.
  2. Comparable for sale.
  3. Comparable auction results.
  4. “ROOKIE” because Louis Vuitton is clearly one of the teams in “The Show,” part of the NHL of fashion. Off-White is an important brand, but it’s still in the minor leagues by comparison. “JERSEY” because the hoodie is exactly the uniform of the new modernism, it’s what the old generation hates. So “ROOKIE JERSEY” it is!

    UPDATE 01/07/20 : To give you some perspective on the importance and impact of Virgil’s debut show for LV, our man Bliss Foster gives us the must-watch low-down:

  5. Mmmm… woven jacquard motif on velour fil coupé…. The kind of quality, materiality, and craftsmanship that simply doesn’t exist in the more “africanised” Off-White products. I quite appreciate both approaches, even moreso when juxtaposed side-by-side, as they are on my walls and in my closet. “ROOKIE JERSEY” sits across from Satoshi’s white paper.
  6. Not even my recent trip to Vancouver via private planes/airports was enough to scratch the itch of being home so much. 
  7. This “out” was important! I definitely needed to “psych” myself up for buying this piece, which cost 2.5x more than the next most expensive sweatshirt/hoodie I’d ever purchased previously, and the previous one felt like a humungous splurge! But poppies have always been my flower (they bloom on my birthday), I’ve always been fond of the Wizard of Oz (I was cast for the mainstage production at the province’s premier high school for theatre arts), the “” branding is seriously limited and therefore actually wearable for a proponent of “stealth wealth,” this was arguably the signature piece from Virgil‘s debut collection with Louis Vuitton, itself a momentous historical occasion (yet just the tip of the iceberg… just the first foray of the Trojan Horse), and it’s therefore only “expensive” by the standards of a hoodie and relatively cheap by the standards of fine art!

    Virgil LV Poppies Hoodie Framed - 2

    Go figure that it’s now “worth” 2.5x retail… Art does that!

  8. Anyone else getting Rothko vibes? So how fitting was the OW IG post recently? Hmm…

One thought on ““ROOKIE JERSEY” (2019)

  1. Pete D. says:

    Updated with Bliss.

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