Fashion’s eyes are ears have been waiting for this since LVMH announced Nicolas Ghesquière’s appointment at Louis Vuitton last November. Ghesquière is the most revered, innovative, (and copied) designer of our generation. His comeback is possibly the most anticipated ‘fashion moment’ of the past few years. And yesterday in Paris, one of the final shows of fashion month, Ghesquière made his debut to a crowd of 1,000 in the same courtyard at the Palais du Louvre Marc Jacobs held his shows as creative director. In a symbolic move, the metal shutters of the Cour Carree opened just before the show began, letting in the outside light of the new day.
We all know Louis Vuitton is traditionally a travel brand – having made it’s claim to fame with trunks, leather handbags and accessories. Jacobs gave the brand a ready-to-wear voice when he arrived in 1997, however those clothes were hard to find. Literally, there were so few items stocked in stores ready-to-wear accounted for only five percent of LV’s sales. I believe Ghesquière will not only continue producing “It bags” as he did at Balenciaga with the Lariat, but he will surely astronomically improve its ready-to-wear game. Why and how you may ask? The answer is simple – women want to wear what Ghesquière creates. While he was at Balenciaga and even since he’s left, he has long been credited as the ultimate creative with a penance for technology and futurism. Brands have referenced his shapes and fabric combinations for years now. Some might even go so far as to claim he inspired an entire new crop of designers (Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang).
And yesterday, he graciously made his debut with a subtle nod to Jacobs’ Americanism by showing looks laden with a sportswear influence. With no direct references to the house’s archives besides the LV crisscross on the outside of a the new handbag, a miniature LV trunk, Ghesquière sent A-line skirts and cropped sweaters, shiny high-waist pants and Chelsea boots down the runway. The collection struck a soft mod-60s vibe in a modern and wearable way. He mixed leather and wool, and at times feathers.
Ghesquière has been charged with creating a more focused version of who exactly the Vuitton woman is – beyond the bags and jet-setting lifestyle it currently brings to mind (remember those celebrity ads Jacobs directed that conjured up little thoughts about the brand other than luxury?) – if his reign and success at Balenciaga are any indication we have nothing to worry about and only very, very good things in our fashion future from the house that trunks built. And rightfully so we should be excited because Ghesquière brings new-ness in all the ways the word implies: new ideas, new expectations, a whole new way of dressing.
Image via AP