Nicolas Ghesquière staged the Louis Vuitton show in The Louvre on the lower floor of the Pavillon de l’Horloge. The floor is above what was once a moat that protected a medieval fortress. The Great Sphinx of Tanis, dating back to 2600 BC, overlooked the runway. The show opened with four models in ornate justaucorps coats, which were a typical men’s garment during the 18th century during Louis XIV’s reign. Those were paired with silky pastel boxer briefs and a pair of sneakers. If the modern tourist was allowed to try on the items behind the museum glass they might come out with something like this (although we suspect it wouldn’t be as beautiful and cool as Ghesquière’s vision). The idea of court coats paired with sneakers was a way to address fashion’s modern dilemma. Designers still want to create the dream and the pomp and circumstance, but how to do it in a world where sneakers have become proper for every occasion? Other typically dressed-up houses like Valentino, Christian Dior, and Giambattista Valli have wrestled with the same dilemma and introduced sportier elements into their otherwise gala- and red carpet-inspired collections. Every look in this show, no matter how rich (a leather cocktail dress, an immaculately tailored suit vest or a soft blush pleated evening gown) were paired with sneakers. Corsets and bodices hung loosely from straps on the shoulders and an 18th century dress shirt was topped off with a Stranger Things t-shirt. Here Ghesquière proved that you can still look thoroughly elitist without having to give up cool modern comforts.
Moncler Gamme Rouge
Amid a set filled with giant disco balls, out marched a parade of 12 ballerinas to open the Moncler show. Giambattista Valli tapped the Hip Hop Ballerina troupe Hiplet (pronounced Hip-lay) from Chicago’s Creative Media & Digital Culture Program. The viral phenoms took Instagram by storm in 2016 when a video featuring the dancers performing to Jason Derulo’s “If It Ain’t Love” was shared around the globe. The diverse group of women have created a new medium of dance in which they combine hip-hop and traditional ballet. On Moncler’s runway they danced to Missy Elliott’s “Lose Control” and Ed Sheeran’s “The Shape of You.” Valli based the collection on how he imagined the girls from the stage to the streets. Leg warmers and tutus were topped off with lace tops crafted like sweatshirts and a puffer jacket was thrown over a leotard and t-shirts and tutus were blended together to form baby doll dresses. And an ostrich plumed white anorak was the kind of thing that any girl would want to take out for a twirl. It was both a celebration of diversity, art forms, and just all around fun—it was a wonderfully optimistic look forward.
There is always something vaguely vintage to Miu Miu’s runways. This season the seating for the show included plastic chairs with pastel seat cushions—the kind of things used where fashion doesn’t exist. Coincidentally, that has been fashion’s biggest inspiration of late. Finding the kind of yard sale detritus being foresaken in more remote or “basic” locales has always been the type of thing fashion is on the hunt to make cool again. But recently, the more hideous and cringe-inducing the trend, the more quickly it has turned gold. Miuccia Prada was the originator of ugly chic, so her references are more cleverly discreet. Eighties punk pants were paired with neon socks, plaid shirting was turned into rockabilly vests, and nerdy Charlie Brown zig-zags on sweater vests were topped off with sheer lace shift dresses. A pink lace turtleneck and lace yellow skirt looked vaguely like it belonged in Molly Ringwald’s wardrobe circa Pretty in Pink. That “can’t quite put your finger on it” and “is this cool or not quite?” feeling to all of Miuccia’s collections chez Miu Miu or Prada is why she always remains one step ahead of the rest.