Louis Vuitton held a press presentation of its Spring/Summer 2018 Collection in Tokyo in December. Taking inspiration from the 18th-century, while focused on the millennial sensibility of modern and sporty influences, Women’s Artistic Director, Nicolas Ghesquière makes past and present collide. “It was about exploring how to incorporate the costume into contemporary fashion, into an urban wardrobe. Anachronism with a touch of romanticism … I think we all need that right now,” said Ghesquière, who on a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York became inspired by the notion of a perennial style while looking at 18th-century French aristocratic garments. On that note, Ghesquière has created a bold wardrobe that transcends time. A strong influence is the refinement of ceremonial dress of that period; the abundant brocade, fine embroidery, and exceeding delicacy of period clothing are translated for today’s fashionistas.
The lavish aristocratic tapestries of that period are reinterpreted, using a photographic treatment, on various razor-sharp jackets and coats, which was then worn over silk shorts, tapered trousers and leather tights for an utterly dynamic and modern feel. Floral patterns reminiscence of the Louis XIV period and “Jardin à la Française” are illustrated on flowing, chiffon dresses, adding a romantic facet to the collection. Corseted and beruffled bustline of Marie Antoinette’s dresses are also inspirations which was translated into armour-like, sequined cocktail frocks. Billowing, full-sleeved musketeer shirts are worn under jacquards, frock coats and waistcoats. A forte of Louis Vuitton, the leather goods are, as always, is highly covetable.
The Neo Speedy and Neo Chantily are reinterpreted in dear iconic shapes with a trendy mix of materials. A new shape is presented with the Cube bag that became the innovative statement shape of the show. Bringing modernity to Louis Vuitton travel identity, the New Handbag and New Lady Bag are on trend with multi-functional shapes for a workwear attitude. This season, Ghesquière comes with an outstanding bright look for the leather goods collection with the Moiré effect, which is based on a historical technic where fabric is given a rippled appearance. In tune with the ready-to-wear collection, the Moiré mixes matt and shiny effects with sophisticated wavy aspects for a strong and impactful result. Flower inspiration also carries through the ready-to-wear to the leather goods. Floral patterns decorate some of the bag, bringing romance and freshness.
Embodying the summer spirit, the Monogram Flowers features Monogram pattern mixed with flower prints that create contrast on the bags, giving a new breath to the iconic Monogram canvas. Perennial favourite for the last few seasons, the Petites Malles come luminous with the summer spirit. Perfect for evenings, these clutches embody Louis Vuitton know-how for an ultimate fashionable silhouette. Another standout among the bags of the season is the Boite Chapeau, Louis Vuitton’s iconic hatbox is reimagined as an adorable day-to-evening bag. Small yet practical, this exclusive bag comes in silver Epi, beige leather and exotic python. For footwear, all eyes are drawn to the bouncy turbo trainers. This new sneakers from Louis Vuitton is worn with almost everything on the runway, from sporty silk shorts to the romantic chiffon dresses. Crafted in a mix of technical fabrics for a supple and flexible upper, it comes with an exaggerated moulded sole and high tongue.
Monogram editions are also presented for these trainers. For an alternative option, a sophisticated high heels is also spotted on the runway. Available in black and white, this feminine shoe comes with a discrete V-cut shape of the upper and new square heel. Combining anachronisms with the dynamic modern spirit of today, Ghesquière has delivered a powerful collection, elegantly making the past look like the future.