Anachronism. Louis Vuitton SS18

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“I thought anachronism was interesting. How today can we incorporate pieces considered as costume into an everyday wardrobe?” 

Nicolas Ghesquiere wondered, what it’s like when groups of tourists in their sweatpants and sneakers storm the corridors of Louvre, which is filled with some of the biggest masterpieces of the previous centuries, from Mona Lisa to the Dutch masters. That’s quite a striking contrast, right? But contrast is Ghesquiere’s favourite field to discuss in his fashion. Although this season’s Louis Vuitton show venue (in the Louvre’s Pavillon de l’Horloge – which opened just last year – that holds the Great Sphinx of Tanis, which dates back to 2600 BC) foreshadowed something as serious as the location itself, Nicolas did the most unexpected. First look said it all: heavily embroidered, tapestry frock coat à la Marie Antoinette styled with blue nylon shorts. A lesson in fashion history plus the off-beat, street aesthetic. I was struck. That’s Ghesquie-genius. The crowd had to gasp with excitement, when the first pair of new, sculptural Vuitton sneakers appeared on the runway. Just like when Freja Beha rocked a pair of polished, futurist slim pants. Ghesquiere acknowledges the past as well as the contemporary in his spring-summer 2018 collection.  In the line-up of intricately embellished dresses and fancy Victorian blouses, there was this one Stranger Things t-shirt (so Balenciaga AW12, screaming!) worn over a loosely-fitted georgette shirt. Major.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

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Ghesquière’s Blade Runner Girl

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Some collections are just unforgettable. And some do both: remain in your mind for seasons to come and stay ahead of time in their remarkable authenticity. Nicolas Ghesquière‘s autumn-winter 2012 collection for Balenciaga happens to fall into the latter camp. Bonded leather coats with over-sized shoulders, voluminous sweaters over cosmic A-line skirts, memorable sweatshirts with Join a Weird Trip signs. Too much of goodness.

I think this one specific line-up of the visionary designer wasn’t as well understood in 2012 as it would have been today – its singularity, sharp modernism and wearability feel so today, but also so 2020, 2030 and who knows – 2040? After seeing the new trailer of Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049, I just couldn’t hold myself from writing this short post as it made me think of Ghesquière’s brilliance right away. Blade Runner‘s neo-noir sci-fi sequel, coming later this year, is highly anticipated – and the designers can’t wait too, as Raf Simons did an entire menswear collection dedicated to the cult film. By the way, while designing at Louis Vuitton, Nicolas tends to frequently refer to Blade Runner while describing his futuristic collections.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Big in Japan. Louis Vuitton Resort’18

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This is what you call a show. Chanel did a faux Ancient Greece venue at Parisian Grand Palais; Prada took us to Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle’s attic; Dior had its guests see the show in the middle of a Californian canyon. But Nicolas Ghesquiere, and his team at Louis Vuitton, outdid himself. Again. The Miho Museum, a half-hour drive from Kyoto, is one of the most spectacular and out-of-this-world buildings in the world. Designed by I.M. Pei, the architecture of this place reminds you of some utopian space odyssey – and that’s precisely what Nicolas wanted to achieve, sending down a line of futuristic silhouettes with equally futuristic setting in the backdrop.

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*1,2,3. Territory by The Blaze, Indestructible by Robyn (remixed). Just wow.*

Continuing to love Japan and its culture, the creative designer of the French maison did an impressive job in conveying his long-term relation with the country. He found just the right balance, not falling into oriental stereotypes, and what’s worse, cultural appropriation (a frequent problem among other designers). Those were the modern-day, badass attitude samurai girls, wearing over-sized biker jackets with leopard prints, skater shorts and weaved leather vests. Kansai Yamamoto was on Ghesquiere’s mind while designing the collection – that’s the Japanese designer, who dressed David Bowie in glittering jumpsuits and paved the way for Yohji Yamamoto and Kenzo Takada few decades ago in Paris. Now, his bold, artistic legacy gets a revamp according to Vuitton codes. Handbags with Kabuki eyes, prints of local fishermen, a variety of toned colour combinations: Japanese avant-garde of the late 20th century goes slightly more French, more refined. In an effortless, loose way. The collection, in overall, has something of Ghesquiere’s early Balenciaga days. But the designer has already established his language at Louis Vuitton – so it feels just the right way.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Walk The Path. Louis Vuitton AW17

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The last few days of Paris fashion week were rather unimpressive, and that’s a pity, as the season had many great moments. While Miu Miu was quite a joke, Nicolas Ghesquiere‘s collection for Louis Vuitton made me think of the designer’s past. His work at Balenciaga was unforgettable – the vision of future wardrobe, über-cool spontaneity, memorable shoes. His very first collections at Vuitton were incredible, too. But for the last few seasons, Ghesquiere seems to rest on his laurels: biker-girl gears, satin dresses, sporty knits. Same story of a “contemporary girl”. Maybe he didn’t want to introduce anything new this season? Designers slowly start to turn their heads towards being permanent in terms of fashion. But Nicolas’ autumn-winter 2017 collection wasn’t classic. It didn’t have a spark. Well, yes, it was presented at the Louvre. But shouldn’t the clothes be in the spotlight? Big, corporate brands like Louis Vuitton tend to put pressure on things like settings, handbags, etc., but it hurts to see how Ghesquiere’s bright talent begins to drown.

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