Merging traditional craftsmanship with innovative design is a true feat in fashion — as well as a central tenet of Nicolas Ghesquière's stint at Louis Vuitton thus far. For spring 2017, the designer continued (and perfected) the experimental cuts and high-tech fabrics that he introduced for resort, which was shown in Rio and will be coming to stores next month.
Wednesday's show took place at the still under-construction Louis Vuitton store at the entrance to the Place Vendôme, which is slated for a spring opening. The space's cement floors, walls and black steel central staircase provided the perfect milieu for a stellar outing of ready-to-wear and accessories as models walked along the set that resembled more of a traditional salon-style presentation.
The collection was a seamless blend of experimental cuts coupled with flawless craftsmanship — like a sliced Prince de Galles double-breasted bolero jacket with high shoulders paired with a front-wrap leather skirt; a series of blue, grey and brown bias cut dresses belted at the waist with cutouts and brass embroideries on the sides; and tulle beaded evening dresses with patches both covering and exposing the body. One of the black dresses has a combination of three types of fabrics: leather, satin crepe and light wool. The perfect tailoring of broad-shouldered, tropical wool jackets and wrap skirts demonstrated the house's command of artisanal expertise for the clothes, as well as the new bags and Petite Malle trunk-style phone cases — already a hit on social media.
Yet there is a casualness to the late '80s vibes of the collection (the gold pointed-toe boots and broad shouldered silhouettes, for example) without being obviously sporty — see the blue leather bomber or the printed tank made from sweatshirt material paired with a leather skirt. Even the evening dresses were kept to a bare minimum of light tulle with small patterned beadings and cut fabrics draped on the inside. These less precious (yet still luxurious) looks will likely woo millennial customers.
Not very often is an apparel collection from one of the world's largest luxury brands viewed as having street cred, but this spring, Louis Vuitton upped the ante and provided the requisite dose of avant-garde sensibility that's often lacking from traditional houses.