I’d almost forgotten Nicolas Ghesquière was making his debut at Louis Vuitton today, had it not been for the Louis Vuitton hashtag trending on Twitter. Luckily, I made it in the knick of time – just as Skream’s ‘Copy Cat’ began playing — to see the live stream in its entirety, and I couldn’t help but note my thoughts for fear that Tim Blanks might beat me to it (albeit far more eloquently).
The transition from Marc Jacobs to Ghesquière was very much like the shift at Dior from John Galliano to Raf Simons. With Marc Jacobs’ departure, Louis Vuitton would certainly lose the theatrics by which the maison was clinging to its relevance. Yet with Ghesquière came a paring back of the aesthetic, and a return to a more sophisticated luxury. In short, Ghesquière’s Vuitton is about indulging in quality, not excess.
The clothes? Ghesquière’s signature shapes rendered in textiles the maison has become known for — leather being one — imbued with the attitude of the seventies and eighties. Shift tops were rendered in stiff yet soft-looking fabrics, the skirts were a-line and the pants high-waisted. As expected, there was a constant shifting between the structured and the soft, between power dressing and looking pretty. Perhaps the best example of this contrast is in look 41; note the starchiness of the skirt offset by movement created by the splits on either side, coupled with the softness of the jumper, all cinched at the waist with a belt to reinforce the structural look. In any other context such a contrast might be seen as a violent tug-of-war, yet Ghesquière is well-versed in maintaining balance.
I noted earlier that the show began to Skream’s ‘Copy Cat’, which features Kelis singing, “Come here copycat, you’re my puppet, you know I love it.” Perhaps I’m reading too deep into it, but I can’t help but think of this as a cheeky acknowledgement of Alexander Wang’s career-long appropriation of Ghesquière’s work, and a reassertion of Ghesquière’s great creative finesse.
Overanalysing aside, judging from the success of his debut and the commercial success this collection will inevitably experience, it seems certain that Nicolas Ghesquière will always be fashion’s puppet master.
Images via Style.com, first image edited by me.
x Mr Mint