Presented to an audience of priceless artifacts, Louis Vuitton’s Women’s Fall/Winter 2021 collection gave The Winged Victory and Borghese Gladiator the front row treatment. What a step up from cardboard cutouts.
Filmed within the Daru Galleries of the Louvre, Creative Director of Womenswear, Nicolas Ghesquière, turned to art as his muse. Like many of us confined without travel, Ghesquière “started the season thinking what could be a wonderful trip, what could be the most dreamy escape.” After exploring the walls of his imagination, he decided the most indulgent theme of all would be to reanimate the artistic excellence of Italian, Greek, Roman, and Etruscan Mythology. More specifically, pulling inspiration from the various representations of femininity synonymous with this imagery. As we know with these selections of goddesses there’s no lack of range—Athena represents conquest, Aphrodite as love, and Minerva as science to name a few. But instead of the obvious draping techniques that comes with interpreting this era, Ghesquière turned to Fornasetti as guidance.
Founded by Piero Fornasetti in 1940, the Italian artistic design atelier is notoriously known for contemporary reinterpretations of mythological icons. This design excellence and sheer cultural impact of this atelier is what led Ghesquière to form a partnership between these two specialty houses. Clearly with this blend, there was no lack of inspiration. With the Fornasetti archive spanning from 13,000 artifacts, Louis Vuitton meticulously settled on fifteen designs that served as the mood board for the runway looks as well as a soon to be released capsule collection.
Made up of a pastel and gemstone color palette, illustrated artwork prints, and kitschy silhouettes, it is clear Ghesquière adopted Fornasetti’s own strategy of giving Greek and Roman art a modern context. This is not your everyday 800 B.C. street style. Ready-to-wear gets a whimsical reinterpretation as seen from from tulle skirts paired under sports jackets, laser printed Fornasetti drawings, dazzling gemstone patterns, colorful fringed dresses, and a rich textured layering technique that will make your ancestors quake.
While looking to the past was one of the main drivers for this Fall/Winter 2021 collection, the current time period also served as an important theme. With lockdowns having society working and living from home, the concept of comfort dressing mixed with extreme fashion statements has become embedded in our culture. This ongoing style battle proved to be an interesting topic for Ghesquière. “I was so curious to try to find a great combination between those two feelings that are definitely going to stay in our life,” the creative director states. This phenomenon is achieved within his collection through garments that are simultaneously decorative, crafty, and sculpturally silhouetted but with the additional feature of soft padding for a more everyday look. He explains this design choice as “…like a pillow you are taking with you everywhere,” similar to a comfort blanket or object, the purpose of this collection is to provide fashionable assistance. As Ghesquière continues, “I like to think that these clothes represent that moment when you are finally getting out, and finally connecting to others [in person], but you are also taking something that belongs to you, something that is for you — this moment when you were in your space and you felt very comfortable, you can take this with you.”
And take it with us we will. If you see us walking through the MET, strutting through the Natural History section in a tutu to the remixed soundtrack of Stronger by Kanye, just mind your business.
See the entire collection from Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2021 below
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