COME AS YOU ARE
Nicolas Ghesquière’s new remixes for Pre-fall 2016 are open to your interpretation. jacquie ang reports from Hong Kong
usually a season where designers strip the dramatics off their collections for sensible “commercial” pieces, Pre-fall 2016 is far from boring at the House of Louis Vuitton, where Nicolas Ghesquière has taken the opportunity to reinforce his vision of the Louis Vuitton woman.
A sense of continuity pervades this collection, his eighth since his appointment as artistic director back in November 2013. You’ll recognise the zip-up-and-go mini dresses he debuted for Autumn/ Winter 2014 and more recently, the racer-striped motorcross pants he showed just the previous season.
At the core of of the Louis Vuitton ready-to-wear stands three style pillars Ghesquière established in his mission to reenergise the Maison’s fashion offering and restore its high luxury cachet. The first, Neo-classic Heritage, focuses on sophisticated time-tested styles that tap into the brand’s quintessentially French background; the second pillar, Elevated Sportswear, endows activewear with the spirit of luxury; and last but not least, Dreamy Adventure, which sees Ghesquière recalibrating historical references for the modern customer.
The result is a complete wardrobe where time-honoured elegance meets athleisure cool meets steampunk chic. It is a collection that empowers women by letting them make their personal statements.
While he refreshes familiar favourites, he also found inspiration in Victoriana for this evolution, starting with a black parachute dress evocative of Queen Victoria’s mourning dress to the riff on the biker jacket sporting puffed-up leg-ofmutton sleeves. And those belts cinched high under the busts…is that Ghesquière’s subtle take on the corset?
The fetishistic bondage vibe extends to the patent leather gauntlets that sheath the arms of the models. One dress, in particular, even sports a leather belt on the neckline, which can be buckled up as a stand-up collar, or left down as a scarf — a fine example of how he ingeniously plays hard materials against soft fabrics.
Known for his penchant of drawing inspiration from sci-fi films and video games the likes of Tron and Minecraft, he has conceptualised a retro-futuristic collection befitting of a digital heroine, who will come of age the next season. We can hardly wait.