To infinity and beyond we go, with Nicolas Ghesquière helming the ship that charted a course through space and time at Louis Vuitton’s retro-futuristic show for Spring/Summer 2016. Show notes told of an expansive theme “where the only limit is your imagination,” and Ghesquière delivered big on that promise with schizophrenic looks that mashed up references from Japanese anime, motorcycle gangs, techie geekdom, and punk rebels. Although these resources have been thoroughly mined by designers for decades, Ghesquière placed a unique spin on his delivery with the use of marvelous, couture-level textures, hypnotic holographic ladder prints, and a truly astonishing array of leather pieces.
Fernanda Ly launched things with a bang, stomping down the runway in platform creepers, sporting a hip cotton-candy leather jacket that matched her hair (which incidentally was threaded with some kind of futuristic tiara). The construction of Ghesquière’s surfaces was amazing – some were merged with silver seed paillettes, others were bonded with printed leather bearing the LV logo or racing stripes, and still others were made from technical mesh that was topped with studs or crystals. He then Frankenstein’d these stunning textures into knee-length leather skirts, tough tank tops, and vests. But he didn’t stop there, choosing to splice many looks with accents that performed no actual functions beyond looking cool; leather tabs, grommeted straps attached to zipper bodice accents, braided straps that came from back to front over the shoulder, lace-up yolking, and zippers on the bottom of pants and dresses all sported these superfluous, but stylish, elements. Dozens of leather looks emerged on the runway, but the absolutely best versions were gorgeous molded leather jackets with sturdy rows of gold buttons marching down the front and one particularly vibrant moto jacket covered in multicolored graffiti.
There was big talk about the Louis Vuitton bubble skirt after the show, as well as the styling of the presentation, which featured updated ‘Petite Malles’, a new drawstring logo bag, Kewpie doll lashes, and ears painted molten silver. Color-blocked parachute trousers were also buzzed about. But perhaps the most striking moment was the finale, which had more to do with an odd, pervasive silence that seized the crowd as attendees focused on the final walk with phones in front of their faces, capturing every moment. This kind of behavior used to be bad manners, but now it’s status quo. Although Ghesquière didn’t set out to create one of the most Instagrammed shows at Paris Fashion Week, his hip, provocative collection ended up attracting more social media attention than he bargained for, but that’s bound to happen when one has their finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree