Nicolas Ghesquière of Louis Vuitton at Business After Pandemic and Fashion Week | Instant News


Modern fashion shows are a place for extraordinary beauty and stunning advantages. In 2012, former Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs paid tribute to the luxury travel giant by creating a life-size steam engine connected to the Cour Carrée Louvre; for his last show in 2013, Jacobs paid his respects to himself with a kaleidoscope of self-referencing symbols: train station clocks, elevators, black hairy cabaret showgirl explosion. Since Ghesquière took control, the experience has become increasingly temporal. Her first show of cleaning the blackboard under the brand started in a darkened room, opening the shutters to let in the sun: “Today is a new day,” read the notes placed on each chair.

In the years since then, Ghesquière has carried his guests into the belly of the newly opened Louis Vuitton Foundation, which Ghesquière describes as “like a spaceship,” and where the spring / summer 2015 models walk through spotlights like high-beam UFOs. Last year, in a rogue innovation effort that symbolized his love of mixing the old with the new, Ghesquière incorporated a stylized reproduction of the Center Pompidou – Paris’ 1970s bastion of modern art and culture – into the Louvre’s courtyard. His frequent collaborations with Pat McGrath Labs, which McGrath calls in his e-mail “creative conversations on the move,” add another dimension to the show, combining their love of research and reference that has resulted in favorites like “FW19 with chilling eyes and bold lips. , “Writes McGrath,” and the SS16 conversation between technology and nature expresses itself in new ways. “

This past spring shouldn’t be any different – but it is. By the time Milan Fashion Week ended and the crowd left for Paris, there were less than 15 cases of COVID-19 reported in France – three days later there were about 130. “Every day we will cancel,” said Ghesquière now. Journalists began to be asked to return home. The lack of visitors from China, where cases reported at the time reached 70,000, have disrupted attendance; now, “every day, every hour, the information is there [coming in] said, this is someone who can’t be there, this person is leaving. “Even Vuitton’s American communications team was directed to remain in the United States.

But the show goes on, albeit with individual masks and fixtures, and in the final time slot on the final night of Paris Fashion Week, Louis Vuitton’s famous lights on time appear just minutes behind schedule. Viewers – a reduced group of about 800 people, down from an estimated 2,000 – find themselves staring at the wrong time traveler’s jewel box: six steps that stretch across the wall supporting the choir, dressed in costumes of Milena Canonero (Kubrick collaborators, both Coppolas, and Wes Anderson ) in global fashion surveys from the 15th to 1950s. For 12 extravagant minutes, with soundtracks composed by Woodkid and Bryce Dessner (riffs on the work of Nicolas de Grigny, a lesser-known Bach contemporary), the past sees 46 truly au courant seen parading the runway in flocks of fluffy skirts. , puffer jackets in cobalt and sage hues, lush leather coats, brocade bolero, and pencil-thin trousers, all lined with shoes meant to earn a place: low heels and ankle boots, chunky white sneakers, duck boots . “I wanted to do the show for two years,” said Ghesquière. “Of course I didn’t know that the situation would be so dramatic, in every way. Drama is in the room because of the show, but it really is because we are dealing with something completely unknown. We, I thought, were clearly in danger. “

“It was an extraordinary moment,” said Delphine Arnault, Louis Vuitton’s director and executive vice president. “It feels like another life, when you can go to a show with 1,500 people or 1,200 people. Looks like it won’t be— “he paused.” Things have changed since last March. ” At the very least, some rebranding: the beloved “travel kit” has become a “home kit,” says Ghesquière, with a curved look.

Clockwise from top: Ghesquière closes the Louis Vuitton fall / winter 2016 show; Louis Vuitton Fall / winter 2020 women’s ready-to-wear show in Paris; and the 2020 Louis Vuitton cruise.

Clockwise from top: by DOMINIQUE CHARRIAU / WIREIMAGE, by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP / GETTY IMAGES, COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON.

With her incredible strength and beating heart to the rhythm of the catwalk, it’s easy to frame Ghesquière’s rise as a classic hero’s journey. As a boy from Loudun (an ancient city in western France which was among its most famous former inhabitants an astronomer, a martyr, and an accused serial poisoner), Ghesquière sketched clothes and experimented with his mother’s sewing machine, “fix” ski pants into a dress and cut her grandfather’s classic trench. At the age of 14, wearing her finest Levi’s outfit paired with vintage finds from the local Red Cross, she traveled with her mother to Paris so that she could participate in an internship with Agnès B.; at age 16, he urged a cute PR girl for Jean Paul Gaultier, then his idol, to give him two admission tickets to his first big show – to his delight, he got model Jeny Howorth’s autograph on Metro while on his way.

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