The Louis Vuitton Womenswear show brought the A/W 18 season to an end last night - set in the Pyramids du Louvre (as it did last season) one expected a level of grandeur, a pizzazz in the pyramid, to go out with a bang.
As I made my way up to the nosebleed section (thanks Vuitton), it started to rain. No matter, the space was covered with a thick clear protective roof, and the dramatic pitter-patter of rainfall, along with the oomphy sounding of Haussman Blvd by Woodkid, added to the suspense. The advantage of being so high up is that you get a panoramic view of the space, one saw the magnitude of the traditional architecture juxtapose with Nicolas Ghesquiere’s impressive space-age floor-boards. But just as the floor began to rise and fall as if a spaceship door, I began to feel rain on my back. The protective ceiling didn’t quite cover the back row and so I spent the entire show leering my head into the row in front of me to try and escape the downpour. My A/W 18 season certainly ended memorably.
Jests aside, the clothes were great. Through my dripping wet fringe, I saw Ghesquiere challenge typical elements of femininity, offering an empowering wardrobe for any woman. There was an element to this collection that felt 9 to 5. Perhaps it was the pencil skirts in an office appropriate houndstooth, or perhaps it was the pleats. This wasn’t office fuddy-duddy or dated eighties though, it felt more in line with the attitude of Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton in that film. They’re go-getters, decided and argumentative women. Here was a subliminal power dressing; eyes were drawn to the waist with peplum-esque jackets, and structural bags were worn underneath arm and on their side as if the individual had grabbed in a rush. Textures too, such as shearling and leather, seemed to hark to an intimidating woman not to be messed with. The stylings of a single leather glove felt incredibly luxurious.
9 to 5 perhaps isn’t the most appropriate of connotations, it’s too stodgy, too American, and this collection was most definitely an homage to the French woman. Just the palette alone was French; bright reds, jewelled blues and white with pops of soft yellows. But this felt more an homage to the effortless aura that so many French women carry. A perfectly put-together but still wonderfully dishevelled finish that is so difficult to recreate. Sporty elements from the S/S 18 collection returned to elevate wide-sleeved jumpers and blazer collars with linear patterns and stripes. There was an understated power to each of these looks, they oozed strength. Aside from my unexpected shower, this really was an impressive end to an impressive season.