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Show Report

Show Report: Louis Vuitton S/S 15 Womenswear

by Harriet Walker on 1 October 2014

Harriet Walker reports on the Louis Vuitton S/S 15 womenswear show.

Harriet Walker reports on the Louis Vuitton S/S 15 womenswear show.

'A beginning is a delicate time,' intoned a video presentation at the start of this morning's Louis Vuitton show. 'Today the house wants to explore travelling to any part of the universe without moving.'

That notion was no more ambitious than building we sat in: LVMH'S brand new Foundation, designed by Frank Gehry and spaceship-like in its proportions. It is made of, the disembodied heads in the video told us, 3600 glass panels and 15,000 tonnes of steel.

Ghesquiere's collection was every bit as far-reaching, glancing backwards in its references - one print featured retro phone handsets and eyelash curlers, while the Seventies influence from autumn and resort endured - but determinedly facing forward in its aesthetic.

Clothes were streamlined, even from last season - skirts were less A-line and more fluid, made from a silky, gently pleated material that also made up lace-front dresses which rippled with textural panels and stripes. Trousers were tight, some flared at the ankle and cropped, others ruler straight. Ghesquiere has created what must be some of the most luxurious denim to have trodden a catwalk, an indigo selvedge worn high on the waist and with boots heeled with a moulding of the Vuitton four-pointed foil.

There was striped leather too, and Ghesquiere's signature shrunken blazers, with chic patch pockets. And there was an abstract tapestry that also came as a printed on what looked to be devoree or velvet, worked in motor jackets and trousers, quilted at the elbow and knee. Zipped jackets throughout the collection only served to underline the impressive commercial vein that ran throughout the fantasy narrative.

Ghesquiere fulfilled his grand ambition - the audience were utterly transported even as they sat still. And the brand was too: there is a force of trajectory here despite pieces fitting carefully into a current mode. That is Nicolas Ghesquiere's great talent - erhebung without motion, in the words of TS Eliot, or a static revolution.

He'd even moved on the box bags he debuted last season. They were bigger, slightly more supple, and supplemented by a flap-over style that is new. And he seemed thrilled backstage too, perhaps at having infused the industry with an enthusiasm for the new and the unknown.

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