Nicolas Ghesquière’s first collection for Louis Vuitton debuted two years ago at the Fondation Louis Vuitton art gallery and contained codes for the new LV girl that would develop over following seasons. Fall/Winter 2014’s athletic knits, crocodile coats, and belted A-line mini skirts spoke to new sportswear themes at the storied French maison, but just when the line-up started to look predictable, Ghesquière changed course.
His new outlook highlights an experimental fusion of luxury sportswear and high fashion, signalling a return to the conceptual design that he cut his teeth on at Balenciaga. An avant-garde approach displayed design complexities that we haven’t seen at Louis Vuitton before, and this pivot to a new direction was further articulated by the show’s new location at Place Vendôme – the brand’s future home.
Louis Vuitton’s ateliers were surely putting in overtime in order to perfect so many gorgeous, thoughtful details.
An emphasis on strong-shouldered silhouettes, knit dresses with shots of Lurex thread, and neoteric power suits lent the collection an 80s vibe, but such familiar tropes from the era of excess were thoroughly reconstructed with a contemporary touch. Gorgeous bias-cut dresses with matchstick zipper side seams and black ribbon closures opened the show, with a pecan-colored version displaying a strategically placed cutout along the hip bone. Cutouts continued to add negative space to solid exteriors, showing up on futuristic suits that were either tautly tailored and flared at the cuffs or elegantly draped and deconstructed.
Bespoke lace separates also offered hints of flesh beneath, but their ladylike peplum accents toyed with expectations. Some looks featured elaborately arranged layers of sheer fabric over opaque shoulder pads and diamond-shaped cutouts over the chest, which were dressed up with pinprick embroidery and polka dots. Louis Vuitton’s ateliers were surely putting in overtime in order to perfect so many gorgeous, thoughtful details.
Despite the fact that this show offered Ghesquière’s most experimental and wonderful collection for Louis Vuitton to date, the most enticing takeaway for the audience was the new ‘Petite Malle’ phone case. A front row packed with millennial influencers meant close-ups of Louis Vuitton’s latest “It” item made instant rounds on social media before the show had even finished. For all of Ghesquière’s fashion-forward ideas for Spring/Summer 2017, he proved his prowess as a Creative Director by fusing the commercial and the conceptual.