Future is Now. Louis Vuitton SS19

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While Nicolas Ghesquière‘s autumn-winter 2018 collection for Louis Vuitton was a bourgeois wardrobe fantasy, this season the designer returns to his all-time favourite themes: sci-fi, 80s call-backs and the clash between the old and the new. Innovative, rubber-like materials were used in architectural coats (that instantly recalled Nicolas’ brilliance at Balenciaga). The way the designer combined over-sized, space suit sleeves with meticulously embellished mini-dresses was so, so good. Need a fashion space-suit? Ghesquière has you covered with a floral ensemble. But there were also more approachable, easy clothes. Take the perfectly tailored blazers and boldly printed tank-tops. Oh, and the models! The casting stunned with beautiful diversity, from gorgeous new-comers and androgynous girls to runway veterans and transgender males. For Nicolas, the future is now.

Also, it’s the end of my Paris fashion week coverage. And a very happy good-bye to the fashion month.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s / The Big Debuts SS19

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Kate Moss, Lenny Kravitz and Naomi Campbell at Dior.

Just imagine how happy the people at LVMH are now. Both of the maisons they own, Louis Vuitton and Dior, earned such spotlight throughout the last few days that it’s unbelievable how much profit the luxury conglomerate gets in the upcoming months. Two names were on the lips of entire Paris this week: Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones. The first debuted at Vuitton with a more grown-up version of his Off-White, while the latter entered the house with a relevant ode to the founder of the house, Chritian Dior.

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Readers of this site know that I’m on fence with Virgil Abloh and his brand, Off-White. To me, it’s a streetwear label that effortlessly hits the luxury shelf (just like Vetements) and is quite deprived of genuine creativity (at least, speaking of the ready-to-wear stuff seen on the runways). Once it’s all about 90s Helmut Lang covered in prints, then it goes for such ‘of the moment’ trends like tulle. Still, kids love it, adults as well. Maybe it’s the question of aesthetics? I would surely love an Off-White hoodie few years ago, but now I’m into something completely else.

Now, straight to the topic. The Louis Vuitton show had a front row with a capital F: there was Kanye West, the Kardashians, Naomi Campbell, Rihanna, just to name a few. The clothes were essentially Virgil, but more de luxe than usually. Neon harness, hoodies under blazers, sporty shorts, lots of new sneakers that will be ‘it’ sooner or later, a bunch of classical LV bags with chain handles. Basically, it’s all the stuff that brands like Louis Vuitton need right now: bold, not-to-deep-in-meaning pieces that the rich, young clientele will want in their lives. The only thing I truly appreciated about the collection was the model casting, that was beautifully, beautifully diverse. Still, in terms of Louis Vuitton fashion, I will cling to Nicolas Ghesquiere’s womenswear.

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In fact, Virgil Abloh is Kim Jones’ successor at Vuitton. Also, in private, they’re friends, so what really surprised me during this Paris fashion week was the lack of striking competition (both of the designers went to each other’s show, how cute!). Kim Jones had similar ways of luring everyone to take a look at his debut: celebrity-filled f-row (from Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Lenny Kravitz to Lily Allen and The xx), a fancy venue (this huge KAWS statue made of real flowers stood in the middle), famous models (like Prince Nikolai of Denmark, who opened the show). But actually, I want to thank Kim for making me look at a Dior show for longer than one minute (I mean, Maria Grazia Chiuri’s womenswear…). And you know what? There was lots to look at. In his collection, the designer paid tribute to Christian Dior, and such Dior predecessors as John Galliano, but in a smart, innovative way.

The dominant colours were signature pale Dior pink and porcelain blue. The toile de jouy created by Victor Grandpierre for Christian’s original boutique in 1947 appeared as the leading fabric for the shirts. Jones as well experimented with suits, nodding to Tailleur Oblique, Dior’s famous, diagonally wrapped ensemble from 1950. And then, my favourite part, there’s the iconic Dior Saddle Bag, now in more safe colours than the ones Galliano did, or converted into wallets (how commerce-wise!). Kim Jones wisely spent the time at the maison‘s archives, coming out with brilliant ideas. It’s also worth noting that he invited Yoon Ahn from Ambush to do the very cool jewellery, as well as Matthew Williams from Alyx to work on the buckles. Jones masterfully blended the past with contemporary, which I like. Maybe it wasn’t my favourite show of the season (even though it had some major highlights), but the newly appointed designer is on a very good path (just as Virgil, who will definitely rule with his LV, whether you love it or loathe it).

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All collages by Edward Kanarecki.

Mr Porter US

Art and Riviera. Louis Vuitton Resort 2019

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I know, I know. It seems that Louis Vuitton‘s resort 2019 collection took place ages ago. But I’ve been holidaying for a while in the Algarve region of Portugal, and hey – shouldn’t we all slow down the pace in the industry? Shall we make make reflection, not the instantness, a priority?

Nicolas Ghesquiere‘s take on French Riviera’s artistic aura was brilliantly executed at the Fondation Maeght in St. Paul-de-Vence. The runway, filled with Giacometti sculptures, was a perfect backdrop for the season’s flowing dresses, evening tops with feathers and deconstructed vests. The collection is full of contrasts. Leather over-the-knee sneaker-boots clashed with feminine flou of some of the outing’s most refined looks, while 80s volumes and prints were put next to boudoir-esque pink satin and lace. Shortly, Nicolas celebrates diversity in dressing, that used to be rich among the artists who settled across the Riviera.

What is it today to be an original, [someone] who has her own way of dressing? This bricolage . . . you can start a real movement. I love those people who are eccentric.” Possibly, Ghesquiere had Grace Coddington on his mind, who collaborated on the Vuitton bags the season. The mega-stylist and former creative director of Vogue worked on a collection of bags based on the sketches she does of her beloved cats and Nicolas’ dog. Maybe it’s the sea breeze that’s doing the work, but that was one of the best collections coming from the designer in a while.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

First Lady. Louis Vuitton AW18

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Nicolas Ghesquiere seems to enjoy France’s First Lady, the chicest Brigitte Macron. Rather than going for another pair of best-seller sneakers (that one point make you puke, since everyone has them / wants them), the creative director of Louis Vuitton decided to do a collection dedicated to the Parisian bourgeois. By that, I mean classy skirtsuits, wearing one glove instead of two (how nonchalant…) and slightly historic looking silk blouses with voluminous sleeves. The mood was contemporary, as usual, but definitely less sci-fi. The ‘grounded’ feeling makes this collection commercial and a bit more approachable for a ready-to-wear client, that’s for sure. But other than the fancy Louvre venue and the lovely yellow fur jacket, will you remember anything else from this outing?

And yes, I’ve finally finished the fashion month coverage. Bye, Pareeh!

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.