In the End, Perspective

Louis Vuitton, by Nicolas Ghesquière, focused on a narrow silhouette

Louis Vuitton, by Nicolas Ghesquière, focused on a narrow silhouette

It ended not with a bang, but with a building, and a farewell. Also some perspective.

After four cities and hundreds of shows, it came down to this: Christophe Lemaire taking his final bow as artistic director of Hermès women’s wear after a serene tour of desert tones, butter leathers and slouchy separates, parachute silk and sueded python. He closed the collections without any drama, letting his work whisper softly and leave a discreet impression.

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It was kind of anticlimactic. But that’s no bad thing. Fashion has a role to play in life, but not always the starring one. Really, it’s more a support: of character, ideology, intent. This was a fitting reminder. Pun intended.

The wake-up call had started with the Louis Vuitton show at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Bernard Arnault’s new Frank Gehry-designed glass-and-steel museum/arts performance space, which looks like nothing so much as a sailing ship from another planet come to Earth in the middle of the Bois de Boulogne. The structure is so startling (in a good way), it was hard to focus on anything else. Clothes? What?

Nicolas Ghesquière’s debut collection for Louis Vuitton was inspired

Thinking outside of the box with Louis Vuitton

Perhaps because of that, the designer Nicolas Ghesquière decided to hold his show in the darkened “belly” of the building, the better to allow his audience to see the neat, high-necked white dresses crocheted from ribbons of cotton and raffia, the just slightly undersized navy blazers, and A-line skirts made of strips of leather, one side vertical, the other horizontal. Read more.