Shake off the shackles! Fashion is returning to its former self, proven by Paris Fashion Week’s thrilling embrace of more avant-garde silhouettes, more vibrant prints, and more joyful expressions of identity. After hibernating in our homes for so long, the Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2021 show was like a triple shot of espresso – pure energetic frisson. The collection’s release is timed with the world’s reawakening, as the last half of the year (cautiously) promises some semblance of normalcy (thanks to the acceleration of vaccine programs worldwide).
The house’s Artistic Director Nicolas Ghesquière has long worked on the high tension wire between past and present, and this season his classic-meets-modern references brought an effortlessly cool vibe to the LV runway. The archival works of Fornasetti made for a charming “face” of the collection, especially when amplified by the pop-art brilliance of multi-colored prints.
For Fall/Winter 2021, multilayered dressing paired elements that you’d typically never see together on a single outfit, like a frothy tulle skirt in baby blue with a ski parka, ski goggles, and knit sweater – as in the case of the show’s opening look. Taken together, it’s a bit of a style overload, thanks to the work of Ghesquière’s closest collaborator, stylist Marie-Amélie Sauvé. However, separated out, each piece was a magnificent work of art, worthy of a “hit the town” wardrobe. Other effective pieces came in the form of bubble skirts, ballooning capes, jacket-jumper hybrids (Look 4 was a favorite), and utility vests with contrasting varsity jacket sleeves. We also fell in love with the collection’s cape-backed sweaters with porthole pockets, slouchy boots, and babydoll dresses. The combination of these pieces was whimsical; it felt like a light-hearted departure from previous efforts.
If we’ve learned anything from the past year, it’s that – from the social climate to the climate-climate – no one can escape the environment they’re in. As a biological imperative, we adapt, we shift and morph, we construct and deconstruct, in an effort to become more attuned with our surroundings. With so many days spent within the same four walls, it’s only natural that interiors would come to reflect our stylistic sensibilities. The Fornasetti prints, for instance, could have been kitsch, but actually felt fresh when paired with ski parkas in linebacker proportions with delicately embroidered elements. No points were forced here. Everything was in balance, and most of all, it felt fun, delightful even. What a novel idea for high fashion.