IN truth, Nicolas Ghesquiére had us at hello. Everything surrounding Louis Vuitton show was nothing short of spectacular. It began with the awe-inspiring sight of the new Louis Vuitton Foundation, a Frank Gehry-designed curvaceous mega space in Paris’s Bois de Boulogne that gleaned in the morning sunlight atop a rippling pond like a gargantuan spaceship. The sight of it might just be the most Instagrammed picture of the entire season.
Show goers meandered their way around it, snapping from every angle before making their way downstairs through a maze of open-mirrored corridors and into its dark basement with walls of transparent screens, its runway lit by nothing more than the strong beams of spotlight rows (stand in one and you might just be beamed up to somewhere else on planet Louis Vuitton).
It turned out, those transparent screens were projectors where models’ faces appeared to deliver a welcome monologue, describing the Foundation as a “ship surrounded by a woodland” and ending it with, “the journey starts here”. It all felt eerily sci-fi. With that, Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence played out and Londoner Jean Campbell emerged.
Ghesquiére built on his girl of last season, with a collection that skimmed from preppy to Americana to Seventies. This cool retro A-line silhouette continued, now pieced together in diagonal stripes of navy and red eel skin. It developed into a tapestry-printed velvet line up of cropped flares and quilted biker jackets, button-bibbed white woven dresses and others covered in black micro sequins. There were so many desirable separates; belted cargo jackets, raw indigo denim jeans with just enough interest going on with the seaming, and white leather trousers printed in all kinds of matter, from matchstick boxes to hairdryers to headphones.
The bags also got a starring role here today: a denim-looking leather purse with chain strap, and stonking clasp mechanism; the new LV logo (the very same one shines like a beacon from outside the Foundation in hammered silver) is the one to covet now.
Ghesquiére cemented his arrival at this house and confidently swept his audience up in the bold new direction in which he’s steering this mothership, the jewel in the LVMH crown. We were all aboard, and then some. The music, the venue, the casting, the believability of these clothes, his girl, the execution of it all combined, arguably made it the show of the season.