OPENING with the question ‘What is French style’, Nicolas Ghesquière pondered to himself and his design team about the answer. Well, it was somewhat inconclusive and befitting to the classic phrase of ‘je ne sais quoi’.
To many the streets of Paris are lined with a rich history of couturiers who have and continually present us with reinterpretations of what it means to be chic, effortless and always on the cusp of tradition.
But as time has moved forward and ideas have travelled internationally, the designer was left without a singular vision of French style. What it means today is ineffable as Houses like Louis Vuitton have embraced culture and modernity, but there is one thing that has remained very French – savoir-faire. The allure of trompe l’oeil.
Looking at the House and what it has become synonymous for, the spirit of travel has never wavered once since its founding, guiding the fashion and accessories forward on an adventure across the globe. Sailing through autumn-winter 2023 with the wind underneath their wings, a haute concoction of variables was presented throughout the looks, playing with constant contrasts like slip dresses and volume injected scarves, leather trousers and tailored overcoats, and belted ballon coats that cinch at the waist.
The collection was a serious case of separates ready for the next favoured online ‘it’ girl to play around with – and with a front row comprised of the likes of Zendaya, Ana de Armas and Alicia Vikander, to name some of the brand’s ambassadors, Ghesquière’s creations are set to be the centre of attention next Fall.
With fashion codes always up for interpretation at Louis Vuitton, a brand that has come to know to crave eclecticism, fabric choice was a whirlwind, catering to everyone’s taste. Mixing and matching, florals were sat beside padded leathers; brass instruments were hand-painted onto prints; and different shades of beige tweeds were styled together.
Though adamant on French style being far less linear than originally predicted, Ghesquière makes a serious case with his AW23 collection that it may just be a cocktail of cool.
by Imogen Clark