Louis Vuitton Womenswear AW23 – Paris Fashion Week
Jodi Bhachu-Smith looks back at the the new collection from Nicolas Ghesquière at PFW
Nicholas Ghesquière decided to unveil his latest Louis Vuitton womenswear AW23 collection inside the salons of Musee d’Orsay at Paris Fashion Week. With the help of artist Philippe Parreno and production designer James Chinlund, Ghesquière presented an intricate trompe l’oeil of rain-soaked cobbles that emulated the chill Parisian streets just outside. Inside, the designer sought to answer the enigmatic question that has confounded us all at one point or another: what is French style?
By drawing inspiration from the heritage and sophistication the Maison was founded on, Ghesquière posed the question to his team. Their diverse origins (unsurprisingly) brought an equally diverse array of responses. After being refined and synthesised, these answers began to take shape on the catwalk. From effortless two-piece suits crafted in wool or corduroy, revamped with a signature slit across the knee, to deconstructed shirtdresses paired with tailored waistcoats.
The story didn’t shy away from more direct interpretations in the collection’s patterns and palettes either. The tricolour, a symbol central to the French identity, appeared repeatedly throughout, adorning leather gloves and quilted Twist bags, or embellishing audacious faux fur shorts. French horns dressed in the same colours were embroidered on cardigans or hand painted onto leather.
These splashes of colour offset the otherwise simple but very Parisian base tones of greys, browns and creams. And, of course, it wouldn’t be Ghesquière for Vuitton without his penchant for accessories. Illuminated masks further abstracted the modernity of the collection in a nod to the Phantom of the Opera, whose story played out at the Paris Opera House just a few miles away. Dainty Spats-style boots in ankle and knee-length versions echoed the sartorial elegance of the same era.
In the end, little touches like sharp architectural angles and handbags that mimicked Parisian street signs and townhouses told us that, for Nicholas Ghesquière, French style is always be wherever Louis Vuitton womenswear AW23 is this winter.
To read our review of the Givenchy show from PFW, click here
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