Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The New Casualness by LOUIS VUITTON F/W '14/15

In what was undoubtedly one of the most eagerly anticipated moments of the fashion season that began in Manhattan this spring, Nicolas Ghesquière unveiled his debut collection for LOUIS VUITTON. Ghesquière let the sun shine in literally, as the solid-seeming walls of the temporary structure in a courtyard of the Louvre opened like Venetian louvered blinds on a room that was conspicuous in its neutral arrangement of fawn upholstered, double-tier stepped seating and gray carpeting. That decor was a precursor to the surprising sobriety of a collection that focused on quiet details rather than bravura statements.

Eschewing the focused theatrics of Marc Jacobs’s memorably staged shows for the house, Ghesquière considered another proposition. “I didn’t want to do a theme or a story,” he explained backstage in a greenroom stylishly appointed with chrome seventies furnishings. Instead, “I tried to express an easiness,” he said, a mood that he feels is emblematic of the way a modern woman dresses.

In a thoughtful open letter given to all the guests, gracefully acknowledging Marc Jacobs’s formidable legacy, Ghesquière spoke of the house’s “inspiring history that looks to the future and to the world,” and of “the quest for authenticity and innovation.”

Backstage, Ghesquière expounded further, claiming that he was looking at a vision of a Vuitton woman dressed with “a new casualness, a way of mixing the clothes casual with formal who carries these codes in a very cool and functional way, too.” Perhaps as a riposte to criticisms that Ghesquière’s innovative design concepts have been at times more visionary than commercial, this collection was resolutely real-life and pragmatic, with more of an attitude of a resort show than a big-statement, main-season one. But that seemed to be the point. Ghesquière defined his vision as a holistic one that focused on “this transition between leather goods and ready-to-wear,” and claimed to have learned and been inspired by “the extraordinary savoir faire of the atelier workshops,” who fashion those all-important leather goods. For the first time, he asked those craftspeople to work on elements of clothing, a collaboration that resulted in details like the leather plastrons and yokes that added an armorial dimension to otherwise soft dresses, or emphasized the linear shapes of jean-jacket-seamed coatdresses. Zippers, rivets, and bands of welted-leather trim were further allusions to the house’s leather goods. The small purses included some worked with the quilting once used to line the company’s famed steamer trunks in the nineteenth century, and miniaturized versions of those cases.

There was a respectful nod to his predecessor as he explored the stiff silhouette of a Chelsea girl on the cusp of the sixties and seventies an era dear to Jacobs’s heart with boxy, double-face little coats, jerkins, and swingy skirts (everything cut dolly bird–short) worn with vinyl-effect Chelsea boots. The flou pieces, meanwhile, with elaborate inset detailing, and the use of solid fabrics juxtaposed with the Victorian wallpaper prints that Ghesquière loves, seemed closer to his established aesthetic.

There was also a gentle game of trompe l’oeil, subtle and overt, as Ghesquière pushed his textile designers to create knit worked to look like fabric, and fabric to resemble textured knit. Swaths of dense, dimensional embroideries in a curve-seamed panel skirt, meanwhile, suggested elaborate feather work, while other glittering examples on a high-waisted jacket or coatdress simulated fur pelts. But the sober palette (that evoked seventies menswear or decorating schemes) kept even these flights of fantasy as restrained as a whispered confidence rather than a manifesto shouted from the rooftops.

Discover the LOUIS VUITTON Fall/Winter '14/15 runway show at the end of this post!

LoL, Andrea 

Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credit / Source: VOGUE
Photography by Monica Feudi (FeudiGuaineri)

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The coast of Monaco might be dotted with soaring skyscrapers, but there’s still nothing to rival the view from the Prince’s Palace of Monaco. Tourists who ascended the Rocher earlier this evening would have been surprised to find an awe-inspiring, glass-paneled salon that looked like it landed from out of space smack in the middle of the Palace Square. As the first fashion presentation to take place on those grounds under the patronage of HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco, Louis Vuitton’s resort show was a landmark occasion.


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