• 8th March 2017

LV at the Louvre

Founded on the concept of the steamer trunk, Louis Vuitton is the ultimate travel house. It’s a fact not lost on its designers: Kim Jones has trekked the world since he was a boy and he draws on these experiences for men’s ready-to-wear, while for women’s, Nicolas Ghesquière employs the idea of travel as a mindset. The clothes become vehicles for a study on form, movement and identity.

This season, we were invited to Cour Marly, in the heart of the Musée du Louvre. The pinnacle of Paris tourism, it’s the world’s most visited museum, welcoming more than 15,000 visitors per day. Around 70% of these are foreign – so you can see how it acts as a symbol of a borderless space, bringing people together in the name of culture. As far as venues go, it’s also pretty stunning: the models walked to the backdrop of French sculptures from the 5th to 18th centuries, a considerable feat taking into account the space has never previously been opened to a fashion crowd. Usually a quiet sanctuary away from the crowds thronging to da Vinci and Michelangelo, today it played host to one of fashion’s most venerable heritage houses doing its thing.

Ghesquière has a knack for fusing references from different places, cultures and eras into something that feels at once contemporary and very Louis Vuitton. This season, he had been thinking about our globalised world, and the way travel and technology are creating increasingly connected communities. So with the clothes he created a uniform for a futuristic nomad living in a world where cityscapes blend into one unified culture. What would such a girl wear? For Ghesquière, that meant clothes that blur conventional genre and gender boundaries altogether. Tailoring had a sporty edge, fitted leather moto jackets looked ready to rev, collars were blown out like a Wes Anderson character, indigo trousers impossibly tech in a high shine finish. An electric blue jumpsuit would have looked at home on a NASCAR driver – only it was worn under a massive belted fur (so good).

Ghesquière played on traditional notions of femininity: tweeds were cut in-aline skirts and sculpted jackets, while lace-detailed slips had a harder edge with leather harnesses, styled bare or under a structured leather coat. Lots of knee-high, ready for action boots. And around wrists and collarbones were open-ended flapper necklaces – little accents that softened this futuristic vision. Ghesquière is master of that balance, and at Louis Vuitton it’s sharper than ever.