CALL­ING ALL AN­GELS

CHLOË GRACE MORETZ, LAURA HAR­RIER, and SO­PHIE TURNER demon­strate the kick-ass power of sis­ter­hood in Louis Vuit­ton

InStyle (USA) - - Directory - by ERIC WIL­SON styled by JULIA VON BOEHM

Laura Har­rier, Chloë Grace Moretz, and So­phie Turner re-cre­ate the sis­ter­hood of Char­lie’s An­gels in Louis Vuit­ton

Once upon a time, there were three very dif­fer­ent lit­tle girls who grew up to be three very dif­fer­ent women. But they have three things in com­mon: They’re bril­liant, they’re beau­ti­ful … and they wear Louis Vuit­ton?

OK, so we all rec­og­nize the open­ing lines of Char­lie’s An­gels— or at least those of the savvy 2000 cin­e­matic adap­ta­tion that re­cast the crime-fight­ing trio of hot babes from the 1970s TV series into a power brand with con­sid­er­ably more fem­i­nist ap­peal, es­pe­cially for a younger gen­er­a­tion more fa­mil­iar with Alex, Dy­lan, and Natalie from the movies than with Jill, Kelly, and Sab­rina from tele­vi­sion.

“They had a real sis­ter­hood be­tween them, and at the same time they were kick­ing ass,” says Laura Har­rier, ex­plain­ing the An­gels’ en­dur­ing al­lure as well as the in­spi­ra­tion for this Instyle shoot, which brings the ac­tress to­gether with her friends in real life, Chloë Grace Moretz and So­phie Turner. “And the Des­tiny’s Child song from the first movie was epic,” adds Har­rier.

“The re­la­tion­ship be­tween those three girls was the strong­est thing about them,” says Turner, who first met Har­rier at a Vuit­ton fash­ion show and Moretz at a Met Gala af­ter-party. As am­bas­sadors for Vuit­ton, the three women have formed bonds of their own, with an easy­go­ing ca­ma­raderie that has not gone un­no­ticed by the house’s artis­tic di­rec­tor, Ni­co­las Gh­esquière. Re­flect­ing on the zeit­geist of to­day’s newly awak­ened Hol­ly­wood, the de­signer says they rep­re­sent ex­actly the types of fierce, out­spo­ken in­di­vid­u­als who in­spire him. ( He ap­pears here as their elu­sive Char­lie.)

“I’m lucky be­cause I get to watch two sides of them—the side where they por­tray dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters, like a ro­man­tic hero­ine and then a se­rial killer, and at the same time I get to know them in real life,” Gh­esquière says. “I love the fact that these young women are not afraid to cross bound­aries and ex­press them­selves in many ways.”

For such a prom­i­nent de­signer who has long been revered as an in­no­va­tor—at Ba­len­ci­aga for 15 years and now at Vuit­ton for five—gh­esquière has al­ways al­lowed an el­e­ment of pop­u­lar cul­ture to en­liven his work, some­times mak­ing ab­stract ref­er­ences to his love of mu­sic and sports and other times nod­ding more ob­vi­ously to sci­ence fic­tion.

And while he is not pri­mar­ily a de­signer for the red car­pet, he is very much at­tuned to that world and fas­ci­nated by its char­ac­ters. He asked to meet Har­rier just be­fore she ap­peared in Spi­der-man: Home­com­ing and came to know­turner, of course, through her role as the not-tobe-un­der­es­ti­mated Sansa Stark ongame of Thrones. Gh­esquière has known of Moretz the long­est, ever since her per­for­mance as a potty-mouthed pre­teen vig­i­lante in Kick-ass. Speak­ing on the phone a few days be­fore the Venice pre­mière of Luca Guadagnino’s Sus­piria, one of three films she has out this fall, Moretz de­scribed how Gh­esquière cus­tom-made a poetic, floor-length flo­ral silk gown for her to cre­ate a spe­cific im­pres­sion.

“He wanted to see me, in his words, in a more ro­man­tic light that could lend it­self to the land­scape of Venice, and to off­set the movie, which is this re­ally dark, twisted hor­ror film,” she says. “It feels like a spe­cial lit­tle mo­ment.”

This is also, it should be noted, a spe­cial big mo­ment for Gh­esquière, whose most re­cent col­lec­tions have more deeply re­flected his vi­sion for Vuit­ton by bring­ing to­gether many facets of in­di­vid­ual style. It is an amal­gam not only

of time pe­ri­ods and places but of the many women who have in­spired him dur­ing his ca­reer, such as the stylist Marie-amélie Sauvé, his for­mer col­league Nat­acha Ram­say-levi (now the cre­ative di­rec­tor of Chloé), and the iconic cre­ative di­rec­tor Grace Cod­ding­ton. “They are women with great points of view, and they made our world evolve, in a way,” he says.

In other big news last May, only a week be­fore he was to show his cruise col­lec­tion in the South of France, Gh­esquière an­nounced he was re­new­ing his con­tract at Vuit­ton, putting to rest in­dus­try gos­sip that sug­gested a break was com­ing. This turned out to be spec­u­la­tion based largely on a re­cent pat­tern of de­sign­ers whose tenures at other houses were short-lived, as well as on the ob­vi­ous po­ten­tial for in­ter­nal ten­sion af­ter Vuit­ton named its new menswear de­signer, buzz mag­net Vir­gil Abloh, in March. But that was all talk.

“We set up the new sit­u­a­tion in great seren­ity, and I have to say that is not very usual for this busi­ness,” Gh­esquière says. “There is al­ways the game of who is go­ing to threaten the other. Are you stay­ing or go­ing? Do we want to keep him? This is why we de­cided to­gether to make an an­nounce­ment, be­cause we wanted to give a great mes­sage of good things. When things are go­ing well, there is no rea­son to act dif­fer­ently.”

Yet there was no miss­ing the sense of cel­e­bra­tion at the show, which was held at the Fon­da­tion Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-vence amid a stun­ning out­door in­stal­la­tion of enor­mous ab­stract sculp­tures, col­lec­tively known as Labyrinth, cre­ated for the art pa­tron Aimé Maeght by Joan Miró be­gin­ning in the 1960s. As one of the ear­li­est ex­am­ples in France of turn­ing a pri­vate col­lec­tion into a pub­lic space, with im­por­tant con­nec­tions to na­ture and col­lab­o­ra­tion, the set­ting also of­fered a par­al­lel to the fash­ion ti­tans cre­at­ing their own ar­chi­tec­turally marvelous mu­se­ums to­day, in­clud­ing one by Gh­esquière’s own boss, Bernard Ar­nault.

“It was the last el­e­ment I needed to re­ally make a point with this col­lec­tion that, to be hon­est, was only half done un­til then,” Gh­esquière says. “I started to see all the things that al­ready ex­isted in my mem­o­ries about that place.”

The col­lec­tion, worn by Har­rier, Moretz, and Turner in the im­ages here, was one of the best re­ceived of Gh­esquière’s ca­reer. In­flu­enced in part by the idio­syn­cratic style of great art fam­i­lies like the Maeghts, Gh­esquière’s de­signs were re­mark­ably free of con­ven­tion or re­straint—col­lages of wrapped white silk, a pink satin neg­ligé worn as a short dress, an over­size jacket that looked as if it had been made of dusty gray rags, black leather boots that started at the thigh and ended with ex­ag­ger­ated sneaker soles.

Look­ing at his de­signs, it is tempt­ing to imag­ine who he had in mind for each piece. That great gray jacket went to Cate Blanchett, who wore it shortly af­ter, to the Lon­don

pre­mière of Ocean’s 8. Har­rier chose a pink dress for the New York pre­mière of­black­kklans­man. Moretz’s dress for Venice was based on one that ap­peared first in short baby­doll pro­por­tions with an off­set, Pi­cas­soesque col­lar. But the in­ten­tion, Gh­esquière ex­plains, is al­ways a spon­ta­neous ex­pres­sion of what he feels is right for the mo­ment.

“I leave room for dif­fer­ent types of women to project them­selves into these looks,” he says. “I in­te­grate the fact they will some­times have sec­ond or third lives, but first of all, I think about a pure de­sign. I might not al­ways be right in the sto­ries I de­scribe, but there is a re­sponse, al­ways.”

More of­ten than not, Gh­esquière is spot-on. And his grow­ing con­fi­dence is ap­par­ent not only in his clothes but in how he lives his life. Any­one who fol­lows him on In­sta­gram will be fa­mil­iar with his co­terie of friends and their marvelous va­ca­tions on yachts and pri­vate jets, with ap­pear­ances by old ac­quain­tances and past em­ploy­ees who have gone on to be­come com­peti­tors. They all re­main close at hand. Fans will also rec­og­nize that the de­signer has wel­comed an el­e­ment of chaos into his life, now rais­ing two black Labradors named Léon (21 months) and Achille (8 months). They are “very tur­bu­lent,” he says, but let­ting go has been good for him, if not nec­es­sar­ily for his shoes.

“I’m quite a con­trol freak, for sure,” he says. “Tak­ing an un­ex­pected de­ci­sion is help­ing me, and it has prob­a­bly soft­ened my per­son­al­ity. When I was younger, I was quite stub- born and didn’t let go of things. It was not a mis­take, but let’s say it was some­times a lit­tle too much for me and the peo­ple around me. With the years, what is good is to learn how much you can let go and still be very ac­com­plished.”

Asked how he feels about his place in the dra­mat­i­cally shift­ing land­scape of fash­ion to­day, he says he is, in fact, ex­cited by it.

“I never for­get that what is most im­por­tant is to have a point of view and a voice,” he says. “If you lose that or be­come blasé or dis­turbed by change or take things as a threat, then it’s over.”

This brings us back to the mis­sion at hand. In Har­rier, Moretz, and Turner, Gh­esquière sees women with a simi- lar in­ner strength that calls to him as a de­signer, which is why he in­vited them to rep­re­sent Vuit­ton.

“I al­ways look up to women as be­ing hero­ines, in a way,” he says. “What I hope is that when any woman wears these clothes, she will see them as an ex­ten­sion of her own per­son­al­ity.”

Putting that to the test, each ac­tress was asked in sep­a­rate in­ter­views how she feels when wear­ing his clothes:

“They make me feel strong and pow­er­ful and in­tel­li­gent,” Har­rier says. “He’s not just dress­ing a woman for a man.”

“I love how he’s not afraid to show women in more mas­cu­line roles,” Moretz says. “It’s very em­pow­er­ing.”

Says Turner, “I feel like a war­rior.” n

I al­ways look up to women as be­ing hero­ines, in a way. What I hope is that when any woman wears these clothes, she will see them as an ex­ten­sion of her own per­son­al­ity.” —NI­CO­LAS GH­ESQUIÈRE

pho­tographed by TUNG WALSH

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