A sense of randomness often pervades a Nicolas Ghesquière collection. His sophomore showing for Louis Vuitton today — held in LV’s state-of-the-art, spaceship-like, sparkling new Fondation designed by Frank Gehry — brought together disparate elements in ways novel, unexpected, spectacular, and at times mystifying.
The show opened with large monitors displaying a diverse cast of faces reciting lines from the David Lynch sci-fi thriller Dune (which may explain some of the ergonomic-looking knee pads later in the show), starting with: “A beginning is a very delicate time. Day zero in the heart of the project…” Very meta.
Strangely enough, Dune made sense. Not that the clothes were particularly sci-fi, at least not to the degree of those C-3PO pants Ghesquière made for Balenciaga in 2008. First out of the gate were doily-like lacy white dresses, which, over the course of the first third of the show, were mixed and matched with phenomenal leather pieces in bright orange and red or stark black, some of them mere leather strips placed here and there. As if that weren’t random enough, he also toyed with a print showing an assortment of lipstick, telephones, cars — like something from the art magazine Toilet Paper.
What came next were trompe l’oeil all-sequin mini-dresses, suggestive of animal prints or curtains. They demanded double- and triple-takes. After that were several stabs at jolie laide, i.e. velvet sports bras and flared pants or flouncy dresses with faded wallpaper patterns and a bulky zipper all the way down the front. Ghesquière seemed to be packaging himself as the misfit who made it. One thing’s for sure — he likes to keep us guessing. And why not?