In Between. Louis Vuitton SS21

I’m really unconvinced by this Louis Vuitton collection delivered by Nicolas Ghesquière. It just felt so clumsy and messy. Which can’t be said of the show’s venue, which nearly each season looks better than the actual clothes on Vuitton’s runway (sorry…). Interspersed among the live audience in the freshly remodeled-by-LVMH La Samaritaine department store were 360-degree cameras that allowed viewers at home to swivel in their chairs, watch models coming and going, and see who did and didn’t score a better seat. It was almost like being there. “This season is very new in every way. The conditions that we’re facing are making us think differently. We came up with the idea of different degrees of presence.” In addition to the 360-degree cameras, green screens lined the walls and, in some places, the floors of La Samaritaine. Viewers of the livestream – the third way to watch and hear the show (there were live mics) – saw footage from Wim Wenders’s film Wings of Desire. Beyond the ’80s-ish silhouettes that have long been a touchpoint for the designer (and I think that’s the problem!), the connection between the Wenders movie and Ghesquière’s collection, was angels, which have two wings, but no gender. “My question this season was less about one theme; it was about this zone between femininity and masculinity,” he explained. “This zone is highlighted by nonbinary people, people that are taking a lot of freedom dressing themselves as they want, and, in turn, giving a lot of freedom to all of us. I found it inspiring to explore what the items are that represent this wardrobe that is not feminine, not masculine. I wanted to zoom in on that section in between.” The show began with a look that combined a timely Vote t-shirt (his absent American friends appreciated that) and baggy pleated chino pants cinched with a thick belt. It was emblematic of a collection that felt more spontaneous and street-ready than some of Ghesquière’s more glamorous outings. Basically, the entire line-up was kept in this sporty style. I’m intrigued by Nicolas’ take on the genderless fashion hitting such bourgeois brand as Louis Vuitton, but the clothes just don’t express that to me.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

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