Friday, October 30, 2015

Louis Vuitton // Spring 2016 //

Nicolas Ghesquière is profoundly interested in children’s video-games. For the Louis Vuitton Series 3 exhibition in London, one narrow room was lined with tables. The objective was to place ones hands on the screen and underneath, la petite mains would work on the construction of a LV bag. For his Spring 2016 show, held at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Fernanda Ly emerged to the sound of a Minecraft advertisement. Minecraft is not just a game about making houses out of blocks. It’s about exploring a virtual world and creating, destroying whatever you want. It’s a great form of self-expression. You create your own rules within the game and can travel as far and wide as you like. “With no rules to follow, this adventure begins now,” the track finishes. Ghesquière’s first few collections for Louis Vuitton felt regimented; there was something bubbling under the surface. His Resort 2016 collection was his first foray into the unexpected. For Spring he created his own rules. “The only limit is your imagination."

In a season where we’ve seen hyper-femininity, Ghesquière toughened things up. From the pink leather jacket opener with black accents, to the net-like embroidered tank top, and the monogrammed jackets to the accessories, this was a girly girl roughening things up in a skilful way. We often see in fashion collections where the women tries to embody a rockstar, and it doesn’t do so with finesse—this on the other hand was sure-footed, well-heeled. The models all wore fingerless gloves; some even resembled knuckledusters. The shoes were slip on brogues, thick-soled booties, heavy snakeskin lace-ups, flatform sandals. I expect the ankle boots to sell the best. Even in minute details, like the slightly unkempt hair, to the powerful strut, and the accessories, the whole look held up the tough-girl act. 
The Louis Vuitton woman is global, as displayed by Ghesquière’s muses. There's Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, American actresses Michelle Williams and Jennifer Connolly, South Korean actress Doona Bae, Dutch model Marte Mei van Haaster, Ethiopian model Liya Kebede. Some of those women were front row, others walked in the show. The customer is also global. I can see Lina Hoss’ over-dyed silk boiler suit on the streets of Tokyo, the embroidered pink gown in Cannes, the monogrammed waistcoat in Dallas, the futuristic metallic mini dress in Rio. This collection is all about a journey through a virtual world, but it also sets out to “conquer the fascinating territory that is today’s woman, a complement of strength and fragility.” 

The colour-clashing biker jacket (which reminded me of the Christopher Kane spray painted numbers and Min Wu’s bruises motifs in he collection) is the next street-style hit, I predict. Equally the printed trousers, that sees the “heroine passes through various sartorial levels and explores a universe of multiple atmospheres,”, could perform fantastically. 
Posed in the show notes are a set of questions. Gender fluidity? I believe he’s still finding his way with this at Vuitton. Modern romance? That was definitely evident in the collection. The puffy skirts, capelet tops, the floaty dresses. The power of the body? The models effortlessly elevated the clothes. Absolute femininity? Ghesquiere’s balance of strength and fragility could symbolise. The poplin bubble dresses and skirts appeared light, but were given a sharp edge when paired with leather waistcoats and jackets.

The collection had few weaknesses. I wasn’t smitten by the red and white stripe and monogrammed coats, the bermuda shorts or the poplin cotton bubble skirts. I did love the printed trousers, the capelet tops, the finale dresses and the biker jackets. The embroidered maxi-dresses were lovely. "The entire evolution of a classic, urban wardrobe is gradually remastered.” Ghesquière is revolutionising women’s wardrobes. Women around the world will be greeted with this new wardrobe in January. “The adventure depends on you.” Pick an item and see where it takes you. I’m sure it will be an exhilarating quest. 
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