"There are no rules to follow"
"This adventure, it's up to you"
"No one could tell you what you can or cannot do"
These are some of the words we could hear at the beginning of the Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2016 show. Words of peculiar significance regarding the work of Nicolas Ghesquière at the head of this more than prestigious & venerable house. Nicolas the Great, as I will call him, is an adventurer, no need to prove it. Just take a look at what he achieved when he was Balenciaga's creative director. He is not afraid of challenging Fashion, of pushing it to its limits, of proposing things that every fashionista would dream of. When he was appointed at Louis Vuitton, Yann & I were completely excited and eager to see what he would do with this French golden goose. The least we can say is that we have not been disappointed (this SS16 collection & the Cruise 2016 presented in Palm Springs made us forget about the semi-disappointment of his Autumn Winter 15 collection) he has perfectly combined his retro-futuristic aesthetics, his need to create insane pieces with a more commercial touch because after all, it's Louis Vuitton. This collection is a dream come true, 15 minutes of pure bliss, of wonders, of food for our eyes & souls. We are beyond beauty, beyond fashion, beyond clothes here. The soundtrack (some dialogues from Tron + Moderat A New Error among others), the setting (the space at the Louis Vuitton Fondation was composed of gigantic screen walls/ceilings), the models (new faces along with models of the moment & Ghesquière's muses), the clothes, the accessories, everything fitted together for a prodigious result and the impression that we were watching a pure moment of Fashion.
Fernanda Ly opening this show makes so much sense when you think about it retrospectively. With her long pink hair, her almond-shaped wide open eyes and her "emotionless" face, she looks like a cyborg. But that's OK! She is perhaps the most perfect & beautiful cyborg I've ever seen. Indeed, this collection is an ode to the digital world, to the virtual era we are experiencing, to its infinite & increasing power. Louis Vuitton is all about this spirit of travel (after all, it was first a luggage maker) and it is simply a brand new kind of trip Nicolas Ghesquière is inviting us to join. Under our eyes, the Ghesquière Army (led by some of his favourite girls: Tamy Glauser, Jean Campbell, Marte Mei van Haaster, Liya Kebede , Rianne van Rompaey or Julia Nobis) is walking, proudly, fiercely, fast. Everything is effortless, cool, desirable, simply beautiful. A perfect mix of showstopper looks, of pieces that almost nobody will be able to wear (you must be amazingly self-confident to wear Marte Mei's outfit composed of a crop crop frilled top & low waist trousers), of leather jackets that have immediately become must-haves, of hard & soft, of masculinity & femininity. The fabrics are insane and perhaps even more insane when you learn that nothing is synthetic here. The savoir-faire of Nicolas the Great and his team knows no limits: if you need to be convinced (do you really do??) just take a closer look at some of his tour de force: the fusion of a biker jacket & a dress embellished with the LV monogram, lazer-cut leather dresses or the very last look (worn by Rianne) a liquid/electric bubble dress that seems to come from another dimension/world; the only thing coming to my mind when I first saw it was "is it real?". These are the clothes of the future but not in a preconceived way, not in the way you could imagine a futuristic wardrobe as a mix of Diana from the TV show V and Leeloo from the 5th Element.
This is the wardrobe of the coolest girl in the world (that could be symbolized by Grimes who entertains special ties with the designer and who sat frow at this show), a wardrobe mixing different vibes, different energies because after all, a modern girl doesn't want to wear the same clothes each and every day. One day, she could become a cyber goth, a kind of Lisbeth Salander wearing chain-like tops with sexy cutouts and big soled black sandals. Another day, she could be in a boho mood with long embroidered glittery dresses (reminding us of the kind of dresses you could find in the Cruise 2016). She could also feel boyish with jumpsuits (sleeveless or not) making her a kind of mechanic from another dimension. And the list could be longer! Arty with digitally printed leather jackets or bags, Festival girls with romantic dresses, Victoriana with light blouses (frill collar + puffed sleeves), Sporty with crop tops & shorts having an Alexander Wang vibe, Rock with these insane biker jackets but without the clichés that you may find at Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane for example. The SS16 Louis Vuitton girl is simply every woman!
|Pictures by Virginie Khateeb for Dazed|
Words by Charles Margueritte