Nicolas Ghesquière at Louis Vuitton is a success. It seems slightly premature on paper when you see that the designer has only been at the brand for a year but there’s no doubt about it when you’re here, when you’re living it. The designer not only swooped into a brand that was continuously and consistently one of the most coveted tickets of Paris Fashion Week — of the entirety of fashion month to be honest — and deftly kept its notoriety, but he’s also done so while changing direction!
It seems slightly ill-placed to bring up Marc Jacobs’ Vuitton because we are so far from it. That was a time of shows on carousels, a series of elevators, a series of escalators, trains and a labyrinth of doors. And that’s just the set. That was about a dream, that was about fantasy, whereas this is about a real woman.That woman has been characterized by a certain silhouette. She’s been a fan of the lean, she loves a high waist, and she’s infatuated with the ’70s. Sound familiar? Yes, it seems that since Ghesquiere’s eye turned to her, so has every other designer.
But now Ghesuqiere’s eye is turning again. Most notably to signal the change was the first exit: a chubby white fur coat. It was luxe, it was beautiful, but the lean, long silhouette of season’s past it was not. Neither was the mini-trunk the model carried, the Petite Malle the brand has been trumpeting since Ghesquiere’s tenure began. Instantly it was clear there was a change about.
Languidly ruffled hems, ribbed knit separates, short sensible heel heights and varying bag shapes colored the range. If the designers’ first collections were pinpointed at a woman, knowing exactly what she was wearing and how to build her wardrobe, this was more of a store. Long, full fur coats not your thing? What about a white coat with just a fur collar? No fur? There’s a puffer for you. If knee length is too long there are a few mini skirts on offer in tweed — referencing the house’s Damier print — and another in leather.
It was an enduring lineup, details like trumpet cuffs and mutton sleeves sure to entice some while alienating others (the cuffs did the former and the sleeves the latter for us). But what it does show is a progression and a slightly technical, futuristic one at that. We have no doubt that the other designers are primed to follow.