Dispatches from Paris: Louis Vuitton

Rebecca Lowthorpe reports

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GIF: Louis Vuitton, s/s 2015 - Getty

We were in a ship: ‘an incubator for creative minds', said the talking heads on giant screens like sci-fi space travellers before the show began. The ship was actually the just-built, awe-inspiring Louis Vuitton Foundation rising out of the woodland in the Bois de Boulogne like an avant-garde cruise ship, made from 3600 glass panels and 15,000 tonnes of steel. We sat in the ship’s hull, all blacked out but for spacecraft-like beams of light. ‘Today, on 1 October, the LV house wants to explore the ability to travel to any part of the universe without moving,’ said the heads, in unison.

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Cue the music, The Sound Of Silence, and we were transported back to 1965 with Simon and Garfunkel – and the clothes. A taut white minidress with a high, frilled collar made in woven raffia stepped out in shiny black ankle boots. It was a clear and simple statement that Nicholas Ghesquière was picking up from where he left off last season in his first show for the storied house – the development of LV’s modern classic silhouette. A neat black riding jacket followed, then a stripy lacquered leather A-line miniskirt with knee-high boots, the heels corrugated like cogs.

This being Nicholas Ghesquière, it didn’t take long before the retro attitude evaporated into clothes that felt deeply of this moment. A pair of flat-fronted jeans, slightly flared and cropped above the ankle with a pretty white blouse, looked easy and chic – equally so, a double-breasted navy coat with bold white buttons and short, swishy, white jersey dresses that looked modern, pretty and easy. Mac-jackets lined in white fur and soft Bermuda shorts followed. Jeans came printed with retro home appliances – hairdryer, tape recorder, phone, car, bottles of nail polish (stylish fragments of an era collected by the space travellers?). Then he ramped up the colour and embellishment – minidresses encrusted in multi-patterned sequins, velvet hipster-pants worn with zip-up blouses or quilted cropped jackets. There was so much to take in – almost every outfit came with a different bag and boots in every LV-monogram permutation imaginable. And yet it was impeccably focused. Not to mention commercially strategic, with every look geared to sell.

This show season, we have seen a zillion copies of Louis Vuitton – Ghesquière’s first show for the house shown back in March. This collection is destined to wield the same influence, if not more.

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