It is quite some responsibility to close the Spring Summer 2020 Fashion Weeks, whose last show is not just the culmination of a 4-week world tour of fashion brands, but also sets the scene for the new decade’s trends.
Louis Vuitton was called to meet this challenge, and Nicolas Ghesquière, the brand’s womenswear creative director for the past 6 years, wrapped up the last day of this summer fashion parade in an emotional show set at the Louvre.
The French designer’s pathway has been studded with successful adventures, such as his years with Balenciaga, and marked by avant-garde visions mixed with his ability to remain loyal to the DNA and legacy of the brands that shaped him. A versatile fashion biz genius, he was acclaimed by journalist Suzy Menkes as the leader of his generation’s creatives.
For Vuitton’s 2020 summer collection, Ghesquière looked back and dived into France’s glorious past, into the Belle Époque era. A crucial time for the country that coincided with the establishment of the Vuitton house, remarkable technological progress and the advent of universal expositions, where the Tour Eiffel was first unveiled.
It’s a part of French history that’s very interesting in art, as well as culturally, in terms of emancipation of women, and, of course, in literature with Proust
In line with the spirit of the time, soaking up in a deceptive wealth, Louis Vuitton’s runway managed to bring back the late 19th century’s vibrant atmosphere and creative aura in full swing, and to celebrate that maximalist aesthetic taste that thrived on frills and volumes.
The label’s Summer 2020 looks were bursting with Art Nouveau touches influenced by echoes of the ‘80s : from puffed sleeves, geometric patterns and prints like the hand-painted angel face on a leather jacket, to the VHS-shaped mini bag, a piece bound to pop up on the Instagram feed.
As to accessories, monogram bags were not lacking either, with printed stacks of old movies whose titles had been twisted: “Terminator” became “Trunkinator”, and “Thelma and Louise” became “Gaston and Louis” (after Gaston Louis Vuitton, the third-generation head of the house).
A highly emotional closure that ended this year’s fashion tour in style, with some suspense for the Fashion Weeks to come.