COME AS YOU ARE

Ni­co­las Gh­esquière’s new remixes for Pre-fall 2016 are open to your in­ter­pre­ta­tion. jacquie ang re­ports from Hong Kong

Prestige (Singapore) - - FASHION -

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.

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