LOUIS VUITTON: SS24
Nicolas Ghesquière showed in the still-being-built, Louis Vuitton mega complex on the Champs Elyseés. The huge art nouveau building was originally a hotel (Mata Hari was arrested there in 1917) and the sense of mystery and intrigue around grand hotels, not to mention the travel narrative that has been at the heart of his Louis Vuitton, appealed to Ghesquière. He designed a characterful collection that you could throw in a suitcase, in a hurry. Everything was light (the design team apparently weighed every garment), packable, pliable and easy to pull on. Effortless it may have been, but it still had a sense of occasion. These were clothes that would turn heads in the hotel lobby (the building site will eventually house a five star LV establishment as well as a store and cultural/events centre).
Floaty, full-skirted chiffon dresses oozed sophistication, oversized silk eiderdown jackets combined glamour and comfort. Silk duster coats and matching trousers suits wafted by, telegraphing an easy sense of luxury. Stylistically, it had a high-Eighties feel, although Ghesquière plays with proportion and materials to neutralise the nostalgia. This was Ghesquière at his most relaxed. He injected plenty of flou and playful details into the collection. High waisted stripe trousers were worn with braces and swagged party bustiers. Rows of bellboy buttons created drama on a sharp shoulder jacket. The details had a sense of fun, but the craft was serous. Jackets looked like houndstooth check from afar, but was made from tiny appliquéd squares of fabric painstakingly crafted. Huge crystal baguettes snaked around the edges of them, clustered into cookie-sized buttons. As for the accessories, wide hip-slung belts, lozenge-shaped bags, squashy little crossbody cubes and slouchy totes vied for attention with court shoes that looked like they’d been wrapped Christo-style in white leather. Time to check-in.