It's a delicate task to combine the past and the future, but Nicolas Guesquière did just that at Louis Vuitton Fall 2020 show, which traditionally closes out Fashion Month right at sunset at the Louvre. With the world inevitably changing rapidly, many designers, through their collections, are asking questions about what the future holds and what comes next. At Balenciaga, models waded through water, with the first few rows of seats completely submerged in a scene that some described as post-apocolyptic, while at Thom Browne things took a more whimsical, optimistic approach with a soundtrack of "Here Comes The Sun." Louis Vuitton chose to sit somewhere in the middle, and reflect on how history is watching how we act right now. At a turning point in both fashion and humanity, we can't ignore the past nor the future.
The show began with a floor-to-ceiling choir of singers decked out in historical garb designed by costume designer Milena Canonero — a moving backdrop for a collection that combined inspirations from centuries past while also imagining what the future could look like. And so, it's no surprise that Nicolas Ghesquière is the co-host of this year's Met Gala, of which the theme is “About Time: Fashion and Duration.”
The looks featured voluminous, ruffled, petticoat-type skirts, Penny Lane coats, and even some classic LV monogram accessories (a nod to the brand's own history) alongside outerwear and leather pieces that, with more of a futuristic space-age vibe, blasted the collection into the future simultaneously.
The utilitarian, waterproof windbreakers signified our generation's fixation on all things athleisure while also suggesting the type of clothing we might have to wear in a less-safe world with highly unpredictable weather conditions. But, this idea was lightened up by being contrasted alongside playful, feminine flounce skirts and sheer dresses that seem to say, "Hey, we might just be okay after all." Other nods to history included a handful of vests, and a grouping of embellished cropped jackets that look like something you might wish to find digging through a vintage store (or better yet, hanging in a museum).
As for the accessories, this collection's bags and shoes also walked the line between then and now. Classic monogrammed styles were offset by both baroque metallics and futuristic leather shapes, and shoes spanned from pointed leather loafers that remind us of "Hamilton" to new takes on the brand's Archlight sneaker (quite a futuristic silhouette), and LV's take on the oversized "moon boot" silhouette.
"Collisions of time," opened the press release. "What if all of the innumerable eras that nourish fashion could come together in the here and now? And what if, in the present moment, we could confront history with contemporary freedoms, staged for the pure pleasure of fashion? A clash of styles, unexpected pairings, subverted functions... Dressing without protocol. Going from old to new and from unprecedented to patrimonial."
The collection as a whole got us thinking about how we, too, can combine both present and future in our own wardrobes and ensembles, treasuring secondhand finds or pieces we've hung onto for years while styling them with newer pieces that bring the looks into present day. Because the more we're able to do so — to keep our pieces for longer, appreciate vintage wares, and simply buy less — the more sustainable future we can build. Guesquière's collection represented that future pretty effortlessly.