Review: Louis Vuitton Cruise 2019

_VUI0337All can acknowledge that clothes speak volumes. They tell you about the past, they comment on the now, they anticipate the future. A good fashion designer send clothes down the runway that say something. Nicolas Ghesquière’s clothes do that. Except, his clothes also catch you off guard. If they could speak, they’d say: “Nicolas is smarter than the rest of you!” or “You weren’t expecting that, were you?” For his cruise 2019 collection, he staged a show at the Fondation Maeght in the south of France, a museum with a remarkable collection of major 20th century artists. The show participated in shutting down rumours about his imminent ousting from Louis Vuitton, which the brand had addressed in a press release confirming his contract renewal.

Ghesquière is at no risk of leaving the French behemoth any time soon. Once more, the designer produced a convincing collection, baring all of his artistic genius and foresighted creativity. Anyone who was doubting about his ability to produce enthralling clothes would recognise that what happened there was more than satisfying, even for the most demanding eye. The 59-look offering took many creative tangents, but remained somehow focused. The result is a collection that would appeal to 16-year-old Parisian girls, to corporate executives, and for sure to the brand’s biggest unofficial ambassador, Brigitte Macron. Short, fluid dresses, mini skirts and shorts will drive the first ones crazy. On point tailored jackets will rejoice office fashionistas, and whatever the First Lady of France picks, she’ll be stunning. There was all kinds of stuff, from embellished lingerie ensembles to jackets cut in rich fabrics, and natty leather jackets with zips revealing the house’s secular monogram. There was also a lilac v-neck sweater dress that cashmere turned into a desirable wardrobe necessity. Ghesquière was far from idling in the accessory department, and the over-the-knee leather boot/sneaker hybrids prove it. They fit perfectly in the now popular “ugly trainers” category in which other luxury brands have also tapped. Bags were crafted in crocodile or leather, although the various shapes presented signify an inability to edit. It seems that once Ghesquière is confident in an idea, it must be executed. Ghesquière’s appetite for finding new ways to cut and sew therefore new ways to dress women is exciting. It makes him the centre element of Louis Vuitton’s strategy. He’s not going anywhere.

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Words by Pierre M’Pelé