Five thoughts on Louis Vuitton's Fornasetti-led autumn/winter 2021 runway show
Where does one showcase a collection that incorporates the artistic stylings and works of the famed Fornasetti atelier? There's certainly no better location than the Louvre's Michelangelo and Daru Galleries. Right in the view of the 'Winged Victory of Samothrace' — personally a favourite sculpture of mine at the Louvre — Louis Vuitton's artistic director of women's collections Nicolas Ghesquière presented an eclectic autumn/winter 2021 collection to an energetic soundtrack.
Fornasetti may have provided the beautiful artworks that added visual panache to the collection, but its Ghesquière's play of volumes and textural embroideries that cohesively contemporarised the entire vibe.
Every look seemed big and body-altering
The Louis Vuitton autumn/winter 2021 collection was sculptural in more ways than one. While the Fornasetti illustrations that were apparent in almost every look fuelled the Greco-Roman inspirations, the clothes themselves took on quite sculptural forms. Breaking apart and almost altering the wearer's appearance, the clothes featured massive sleeves, padded capes that seemed to cocoon the body, as well as bubble skirts that distorted body proportions. But take the layers apart, and you'd have individual statement pieces that'd be rather easy to pair with more minimal complements.
It did look somewhat like museum merch, but better
If you're already familiar with Fornasetti — especially if, like me, you've been through a neverending online shopping hole at MATCHESFASHION — you'd know that the atelier's works revolve around the late artist’s drawings of sculptures and architecture. They do resemble museum merchandise at first glance, especially the pieces that revolve solely around Fornasetti's works. But really, if museum merch ever looked this good, the lines to the souvenir store would be massive. Then again, that perhaps is the allure of the autumn/winter 2021 collection, one that those who don't only admire fashion could really get in to. Art can be stylish too and this is one fine example.
An exceptional case for a non-Monogram petite malle
Louis Vuitton's petite malle is arguably one of the brand's most ingenious creations to date. The mini trunk is one that captures exceptionally the heritage of the maison, as well as its time-honoured craftsmanship. And for autumn/winter 2021, we saw a version that traded Louis Vuitton's iconic Monogram motif for one that's unique to the theme of the collection. The Monogram was still there in the form of the fastening buckle, but the rest of the accessory was beautifully covered with a black-and-white rendering of a building. If there's any piece to look out for that'll be a perfect representation of the collaboration, the season's petite malle would be it.
Gladiators of the future
The collection featured a lot of strong footwear, especially along the lines of colour-blocked boots worn with opened side zippers. What stood out were Ghesquière's interpretation of gladiator sandals. While staying true to the strappy, almost knee-high structure, Ghesquière included a leather inner layer (the foot would slip in through a zip at the side) that essentially created the illusion of a sock-liner worn with a pair of gladiator sandals. It helped too that they came in futuristic shades of gold, silver, and black.
There'll be more; we're certain of it
As with most of Louis Vuitton's collaborations, it's safe to say that there'll bound to be an even more extensive capsule collection of Fornasetti everything. And while we wait patiently for that to be announced, we at least now have a clearer picture of how literal art and fashion can intersect under the exceptional eye of Nicolas Ghesquière.