Rounding off fashion month on the highest of highs, Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière invited guests into a crypt below the Louvre for the house’s spring/summer 2018 collection.
The venue served as a metaphor for the collision of past and present, historical and contemporary, that informs Vuitton’s direction for next season. “Anachronism,” is how Ghesquière described the collection, speaking to Bazaar Arabia after the show, explaining, “Sometimes we think some clothes are more costume, like the French 18th century and flamboyance and I wanted to integrate that in a very urban and contemporary wardrobe.”
Mixing beautifully embroidered frock coats that call to mind France’s Sun King Louis XIV - incidentally honoured in Vuitton’s newly renovated store on Place Vendôme - with hefty sneakers that powered models down the catwalk with verve and vigour, the collection’s clash of costume and contemporary reflected Ghesquière’s preoccupation with how history informs modernity.
“It was about that anachronism of time that sometimes we think, ‘this is more costume, this is more theatre,’ and I think it was interesting to put them in today’s wardrobe. And a bit of romanticism. They were historical.” He visited New York’s Metropolitan Institute to research 18th century French clothes, “And I thought this is so interesting to mix them with sports clothes, with sneakers,” he said, adding, “I watched again this movie with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, Interview with the Vampire, it was a fantasy.”
As for the super-sizes trainers anchoring every look, even the most delicate of dresses, Ghesquière told Bazaar, “It’s not that new to put sneakers on the catwalk, what is new is to mix them with something very flamboyant. It’s the walk, it’s the attitude of it. It’s comfortable, yes, but there is a special way of walking with sneakers. I love women in high heels and I love women in sneakers. I’m extreme.”
His love of film expanded this season as he took on the role of playwright and director, bringing to life a woman both predator and prey, fantastical and pragmatic, explaining of the character he created, “She seems to run away from something,” adding of his latest collection for Louis Vuitton, “This was the most cinematographic one.”
Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2018 will be in stores from February 2018.