A coming of age tale unfolds at the Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2022 show.
If you’ve recently grumbled the phrase “kids these days”, the Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2022 show probably isn’t for you. The ideology of youth, particularly today’s youth – with its cult-like obsession with celebrity and social justice – is sometimes at odds with itself, and so was the collection (in an entirely intentional way). The generation that has challenged workplace hierarchies and staged school strikes for climate change is the same generation keeping fast-fashion brands like Shein racing to produce knock-offs by the thousands. They will build a young entertainer into a mega-celebrity overnight and then knock them down just as quickly over a poorly aged-tweet.
There’s no easy summary for Gen Z. But, you know what? That’s okay. Every generation has had its own battles to fight. You can see that ranging, roving coming-of-age desire to define oneself through the vehicle of fashion in the Louis Vuitton collection, where Edwardian and Victorian themes (planted in the Musée d'Orsay) were juxtaposed against androgyny, grunge, and slouch. It was the kind of secondhand-shopping, cool-girl look that is as electrifying as it is eccentric. The material girlies over on TikTok are going to love it.
A lot of that has to do with the styling, delivered by Creative Director Nicolas Ghesquière’s longtime collaborator Marie-Amélie Sauvé. Think ultra-slouchy Mister Rogers-esque cardigans with tab closures worn with floral print neckties and tweedy trousers, pink nylon parkas worn over pannier tops with scarf attachments, and color-blocked polos paired with sheer maxi skirts. There was a fantastic array of jumpers stitched with 3D paillettes and finished with low-slung pockets, and XXL suit blazers. David Byrne called. He wants his look back. In case you haven’t clocked it, massive suiting is back in fashion, and few did it better than Ghesquière at Louis Vuitton. Also marching with the youth brigade was a series of looks printed with David Sims’ iconic 90s photos. They resembled a wall papered in Teen Beat cut-outs, a reference that probably dates us more than we care to admit.
The corduroy chaps, molded coats, triangle ‘Petite Malle’ bags, and roomy sweatshirt-dress hybrids with trompe l’oeil prints carved out space for other interested parties. What is clear is that the rigorous silhouettes and sculptural qualities of Louis Vuitton of seasons past have finally given way to more generously cut and comfortable looks. Taken separately, this is a collection with a lot of appeal – no matter what generation you hail from.
DAVID BYRNE called. He wants his look back.