Louis Vuitton

May 20, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

The steep, winding streets of Monaco are fenced up and guardrails hug every curb. The Grand Prix begins here next Thursday, but this weekend belonged to Louis Vuitton. Team LV set up a see-through tent with custom-made Pierre Paulin seating for three hundred in the Place du Palais, and Nicolas Ghesquière favorites including Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jennifer Connelly, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Brit Marling, Ziyi Zhang, and Mackenzie Davis sat in the front row. All of them stood up when Prince Albert and Princess Charlene, accompanied by a battalion of security guards, walked in with Bernard Arnault.

The Cruise collection, Ghesquière’s second show for the LVMH powerhouse, was an elaboration of his first. He’s still thinking about “a wardrobe,” but these clothes were significantly more embellished than what he did for Fall, and, by extension, more playful. Ghesquière appeared to be having quite a good deal of fun: collaging mismatched prints, embroidering lace with tiny seed beads, and accessorizing with spiky silver belts and gladiator sandal-boots that inched up toward the knees. Deep pink was paired with baby pink, and caution orange with yellow and sea blue—”a game of colors,” he called it. It made his debut look almost austere by comparison.

At Vuitton’s March show, the blinds louvered open; here, the curtains closed and moving images of water flowing over rocks, shot by the artist Ange Leccia in Corsica, began playing on the video screens installed in the floor. “I liked the spirit of the girls walking on digital water,” Ghesquière said, referring to the Oceanographic Museum around the corner from the Palace. Aquatic motifs extended to the clothes. Coral branches were embroidered on a flaring, knee-length skirt, and the printed top it was paired with was decorated with two cutout portholes. Formula One, another Monégasque reference, got callouts of its own in the form of a snug racing car red leather jacket and a jersey dress printed with a checkered flag motif.

Ghesquière is still liking the fit-and-flare silhouette he introduced for Fall, but there was more diversity on the runway tonight. High-waisted, slightly flaring trousers will stir memories for fans of the leg-elongating pants he used to make at Balenciaga; on the other hand, embroidered slips with scalloped hems were among the least structured things he’s ever done. And because this was a Resort collection—in stores longer than any other season—the show ran the gamut, from a sheared fur coat to jersey T-shirt dresses. The handbag offering has grown, as well: The Petite Malle now comes with a chain handle, and he’s added a new, wide-mouthed bucket bag.

The overriding impression was of a designer not holding back. There was an engaging new eclecticism, but it didn’t come at the cost of the easiness that he established as one of his key LV codes back in March. The sensational first look—a silk top inset with LV’s classic monogram pattern embroideries and a pair of those high-waisted flares—captured that yin-yang best. Other looks, like the printed pantsuits, seem destined to garner the cult status that so much of his output has in years past. So, Ghesquière is enjoying himself at Vuitton? “I am. I’m inspired and I’m very happy.” It’s catching.
—Nicole Phelps
Runway Feed

Louis Vuitton

March 10, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

The scene Marc Jacobs set at his evocative show for Louis Vuitton this morning was that of a grand hotel. Out of fifty numbered rooms lining the runway, models emerged in varying states of dress and undress. One wore a flower-embroidered double-breasted jacket and matching briefs with her platform sandals and fifties wig, an echo of a silhouette Jacobs showed in New York nearly three weeks ago. The pajamas of that collection reemerged here as well. More often, though, he conveyed a sense of intimacies exposed—the walk of shame, some called it, which fits with what he was saying backstage about our exhibitionistic and voyeuristic tendencies. There were lace-edged negligees under sweeping astrakhan coats, printed silk brassiere-and-slip sets, and peignoirs lined with plush fur. Daywear, too, evoked the boudoir: Skirtsuits were stitched with degradé embroideries, deep feather hems decorated oversize men’s coats.

Jacobs has taken us to hotels before—the quartet of old-fashioned cage elevators from his Fall ’11 Claridge’s collection lingers in the memory. But where that show had an erotic undercurrent of sex, the takeaway today was more romantic. Back then, Kate Moss wore hot pants; here she was in a long-sleeve tulle dress embroidered with flowers. This was a romance with intimations of decadence and melancholy, though: Only the very indulged or the very depressed stay in their jammies all day. For his bow, Jacobs wore the pj’s from Vuitton’s recent men’s collection, which feature Jake and Dinos Chapman’s print interpretation of Diana Vreeland’s Garden in Hell apartment. That’s a choice ripe for interpretation. You couldn’t blame him for wanting a nap, given his myriad responsibilities. On the other hand, with his fiftieth birthday coming up next month, perhaps he’s simply achieved a greater sense of relaxation. Afterward, the designer shrugged off any special meaning. “I haven’t worn anything else for months,” he said.

The clothes on the runway were lovely, with their muted, sleepy colors and the deluxe details that Vuitton does so well. Luxury was the word for the bags, too, which were Vuitton classics like the Speedy, the Lockit, and the Pochette Accessoires in materials that included marabou feathers and waxed crocodile. If the collection felt less provocative than usual, in spite of the suggestion of illicit goings-on behind closed hotel-room doors, that’s emblematic of a season in which designers have turned en masse to the look of midcentury clothes. That could have been prompted by last season’s Miu Miu collection, but Jacobs has never hidden his affection for the work of Miuccia Prada. If the Vuitton designer is comfortably part of the pack this season, the clothes were none the worse for that.
—Nicole Phelps
Runway Feed

Louis Vuitton

October 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Pop! Paris fashion week finished this morning with a six-minute Louis Vuitton show as energizing as it was brief. Marc Jacobs makes it look so easy. The mod, sixties-ish shapes, the eye-grabbing checks, all those miles of legs gliding around on sharp little heels. The girls walked out in pairs—models of efficiency!

Les Deux Plateaux, a famous installation piece in the Palais Royal by the artist Daniel Buren with columns arranged in a grid, gave Jacobs his starting point. The columns’ three different heights suggested the show’s three lengths—mini, midi, and maxi. Buren also collaborated with Vuitton on today’s fabulous set, with its four escalators emptying out on a giant yellow and white check runway.

Vuitton’s famous Damier provided the template for the checks—both large and small. Even the floral embroideries were stitched in mini-squares, and the house’s iconic Speedy bag got cubed, too. The checks gave this collection a graphic immediacy not unlike that of Jacobs’ signature line in New York, where stripes ruled. A month ago, that show got fashion watchers talking about the new minimalism. Backstage today, the designer said, “After the romance of the train and storytelling, this felt like something very powerful without telling a story. I was like, yeah, let’s have a grid.” A flash of flat tummy between bandeau top and maxi skirt and hipbones jutting out from a cropped jacket and a lean pencil skirt ensured that the collection didn’t feel cold, despite its comparative lack of emotion. The sunshine yellow worked its optimistic magic, too.

For a finale, the models streamed down the four escalators like an army of grown-up Diane Arbus twins. The show was a kick. It was also a corrective response to the excesses of last season and a reminder, during a Paris week when other design stars are hogging the spotlight, that Jacobs is as agenda-setting as ever.
—Nicole Phelps
Runway Feed