A spaceship landed in a disused courtyard of the Louvre tonight. The Cour Lefuel (aptly named, non?) was constructed in the 1850s for Napoleon III, complete with giant ramps for his horses. In the stakes for most sensational show setting, Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière beat himself at his own game. His models descended the 19th-century ramps flanked by large statues of wild boars, then looped around the edge of a platform like something out of Star Wars. Once the spaceship takes off again, the courtyard will close for three years of renovations.
Though the idea of time periods colliding was carried over from last season, this collection was less outré in its execution. Instead of Louis XV frock coatsA coat is a garment worn by both men and women,for warmth or fashionFashion is a popular style or practice, especially in clothing, footwear, accessories, makeup, body piercing, or furniture. Fashion is a distinctive and often habitual trend in the style in which a person dresses. It is the prevailing styles in behaviour and the newest creations of textile designers.. Coats typically have long sleeves and are open down the front, closing by means of buttons, zippers, hook-and-loop fasteners, toggles, a belt, or a combination of some of these. Other possible features include collars, shoulder straps and hoods. and pneumatic running shoes, we saw skirtsuits and other accoutrements of the haute bourgeois leavened with details like shoulder-spanning stripes and an LV logo that could possibly have been lifted from spaceship uniforms, given the setup.
Space has been a recurring motif throughout Ghesquière’s career; it’s animated some of his most imaginative, exciting work—remember the articulated C-3PO leggings? Here, he was operating in a much more grounded manner, though of course, this being Vuitton, the results were far from pedestrian. Metal chains and doodads elaborately trimmed cropped jackets; dense beadwork decorated the oddly asymmetrically draped halter tops for evening. Ghesquière must’ve liked the off-ness of that gesture. The models wore only one glove on their bag hand. Flat envelope handbagsA handbag, also called purse or pouch in North American English, is a handled medium-to-large bag, often used by women, to carry personal items. and large totes printed with what looked like computer motherboard circuitry were the new developments on that front.
Hybrids and mash-ups have been a major theme this week. What distinguished Ghesquière’s was their almost mathematical precision, despite the intentional imbalance elsewhere in the collection. Fluid, snap-front shirtdresses, for example, were spliced above the shoulders with that striped spaceship uniform. The high-tech wizardry notwithstanding, the lasting impression was this collection’s chic wearability. Last night, at an Elysée Palace dinner hosted by her husband, Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron, Brigitte Macron wore one of Ghesquière’s Spring ’18 frock coats. There was plenty here for the fashion-loving, jacket-wearing French First Lady to like. It felt like a fitting way to end a season that has been much about representations of women, and how designers should dress us now.