For Louis Vuitton’s Fall-Winter 2023 show, Nicolas Ghesquière had one question on his mind: What is French style?
Of course, everyone has their own ideas — including members of the Louis Vuitton family, according to Ghesquière — but for this collection, the creative director not only set out to explore “the enigma of French style,” reads a teaser for the show, but to articulate “its ineffable quality that has captured the imagination of many.”
Never one to overlook the importance of a setup in conveying the mood of the collection, Ghesquière took us back to the Musée d’Orsay, once again teaming up with French artist Philippe Parreno for an “immersive sensory experience” with geometric lines to bring the clothes together.
The first few looks instantly established an emphasis on fresh shapes. Outerwear and accessories were a particular focus — all refined, but with the tongue-in-cheek quality we’ve come to admire about Ghesquière. Knee-high boots were designed to look like socks stuffed into black pumps, while a seemingly wool coat turned out to be made from embossed leather with a textured print.
And where the Spring Summer 2023 collection presented us with larger-than-life belts, this season called upon long, thin waist belts to create shape against oversized pleated blazers, sheath dresses, and cozy knits. Long, hand-knitted scarves brought looks down to Earth, wrapped around the neck — some with gold broaches — hanging over vests, dresses and tunics.
“The idea was creating a reflection of the current state of modern Paris and France and kind of creating this live document of the street,” explained another video teaser posted in the leadup to the show. “We talked about capturing these ghosts, this vibration of this moment in Paris.”
So, how does one capture this moment? While it may seem too slippery to grasp, Ghesquière’s vision seamlessly portrays how the past and future influence our present. Taking elements of 1920s glamour and fusing these details with more stark futuristic pieces like tubular sleeves and prism-shaped skirts — all anchored by function, so nothing feels unnecessary — he does what he sets out to do in delivering “a reinterpretation of formal…a fresh French silhouette.”
But ultimately, he maintains, “French style belongs to everyone.”