Louis Vuitton's quintessential French woman
Void of excess and superfluous decoration, she descends the imposing staircase of the Louvre's Lefuel court with assurance and effortlessness, the fruit of mixing both a nostalgia for the past and modern fashion.
Such is the French woman, perfectly anchored in her time. And that's exactly how she was parlayed on Tuesday night - for the closure of Paris Fashion Week - by artistic director, Nicolas Ghesquière and his Louis Vuitton autumn/winter 2018-19 collection.
Traditional tailoring was reimagined for modern times, matched with outlandish tops leather in leather with long fringing. Strapless vests with gold buttons or climbing lace dressed up basic looks, over a simple knit dress or sweater paired with a skirt or pants. The shoulders of blouses and minimalist dresses were enhanced by a trio of ruffles, appearing like graphic bands.
There were classic tweed skirts, houndstooth, Prince of Wales check; belted by gold chains - a relic of a specific bourgeoise style from the past - and worn casually with futuristic, sporty sweatshirt-inspired blouses.
Moreover, pleated skirts were married with sporty tops, gold-buttoned navy uniform jackets were reworked with large white lapels, while leather jackets and shearling coats arrived to break up the serious tone.
The whole collection was perfectly calibrated, never excessive, giving the Louis Vuitton woman this unique allure, both chic and rebellious, charming and casual, presenting a class that felt natural.
With a sole leather-gloved hand (the other left bare), the LV woman clutched her handbag, the leather-look sometimes extended by a lengthy arm cover giving the effect of a glamorous glove. It felt very French.
"I am fascinated by the gap between this future world that is emerging and the vestiges of the past. My ideal woman wants to be right in her time, free to choose. For this collection, I was inspired a lot by the women of my childhood, those in my family and my inner circle, those who saw me grow up and helped me build my aesthetic," explained Nicolas Ghesquière backstage.
"It's the quintessential French woman who was portrayed in this collection. A woman who doesn't need to dress like a man to show her power, but who remains feminine with a certain toughness. It's this type of woman that I wanted to show today," he added.
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