SS18 Louis Vuitton: Saving the best for last

Who says Nicolas Ghesquière isn’t up to the job of creative control at LVMH’s biggest moneyspinner? As a not-always-brilliant Fashion Month ended on Tuesday, he turned out to be spot on, silencing the whispers about his future at the brand, for now at least.

It’s not often that my favourite show comes virtually at the end of the month. But while there have been plenty that I liked this time, I really loved this one. 

What was so great? Well, it just looked really cool, and while it’s not going to move fashion into a place it’s never been before, it was full of memorable looks that women can actually wear.

I’m not saying they’re going to rush out don a brocade frock coat. The street style brigade have probably already go theirs and don’t mind looking like they’re on the way to a costume party. But for the rest of us, maybe a chance to move away from bombers and bikers into something at least a little more decorative, should be welcomed.

For after dark, the rich materials used here would work beautifully and for daytime, those pieces that were more a hint of frock coat (or 18th century-  style waistcoat) teamed with typically Nicolas Ghesquière pants (slim-cut with a biker edge) gave us undeniably wearable soft/hard contrasts.

In that respect, Vuitton tracked what a number of other labels have done for the season. Think of those soft blouses with ‘tougher’ pants at Chloé or the blouse/short combos at Isabel Marant (and even the Saint Laurent blouses and shorts, the only bit of that collection worth looking at).

Ghesquière also tracked the wider Fashion Month blouse trend, offering up some of the least frilly of the season but still giving us fluidity and metres of sheer silks. That fluidity was also seen in the collection’s dresses. Think Jacques-Louis David’s Portrait of Madame Récamier for the full-length versions.

But there was plenty that brought it all firmly into the 21st century too, such as the striped sporty pieces that Ghesquière revisits frequently, his generally sporty athleisure references and the graphic tees. They nodded to the season’s logo trend without falling head over heels for it via devices such as a Louis Vuitton watch face or an oversized Daumier check in red and black or black and white (printed with stylised LVs).

But the big moderniser came in the form of the collection’s trainers. With oversized soles and oversized tongues, they underlined how important the designer label trainer has become in recent seasons.

And the bags? Well, to be honest. I’m not the biggest fan of Louis Vuitton bags. But there were some neat ones here – mini vanity cases, boxy, slightly squashy bags, usual backpacks with coloured hardware contrasts, and deep crescent shapes with chain handles.

But also worthy of note were those sunglasses. Again, the label wasn’t the only one this Fashion Month to try to move us away from the dictatorship of oversized shades, but Vuitton’s were the best. Wide-but-shallow cat’s eye shapes worked well… if only they didn’t make me look like Dame Edna.

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