Louis Vuitton pre-fall 2024: In search of shape and silhouette

Nicolas Ghesquière has shown the pre-fall 2024 collection in Shanghai at the Long Museum West Bund and, surprisingly, it was the first défilé in China in his 10 years at Louis Vuitton. Perhaps it was that very anniversary with the house that prompted him to do this, as well as to revisit his own career. Because that's exactly what was done in his latest collection — and done in the most productive way.

First of all, it should be noted that Nicolas Ghesquière approached his tenth anniversary at Louis Vuitton in excellent form, perhaps the best of the last five years. In addition, this time Ghesquier was working with a young Chinese artist from Shanghai, Sun Yitian, whose cartoonlike animals — a leopard, a penguin, a pink bunny with LV fleur de lys in his eyes — explore the concept of “Made in China” mass production. These images are already quite recognisable, and, of course, the A-line car coats, the shift dresses, and the mini skirts, as well as the bags and shoes decorated with them, will become the main highlights of the collection — and the main point of contention between both the fashion collectors and the fashion lovers in general. And this is such a fresh alternative to Yayoi Kusama, who clearly has the greatest commercial potential, but the degree of its scaling, in every sense of the word, has already reached its historical limits. And, of course, it would be wonderful, in addition to the cute cartoon animals, to see something more symbolic and dramatic from Sun Yitian's work, such as the head of Medusa or the head of Ken that were presented at her exhibition in Paris last fall.


But the main thing, as always with Ghesquiere, happens outside the space of decoration, but in the space of shape — namely, where the cartoonlike animals end and the intricately constructed dresses, the asymmetrical skirts, and skirts that seemed to be ripped into tails with straight long sleeveless tops closed under the throat (there were many different skirts here in general), the trousers that look like something in between bloomers and sarouel pants, and the long embroidered bermuda shorts begin. And among all this, some pieces and even whole looks flashed here and there, producing the warm feeling of recognition: a leather aviator jacket with a fur collar, which Ghesquière made a hit at the early aughts Balenciaga, a combination of a flat square crop top and an asymmetrical skirt from his Balenciaga SS2013 collection, his last collection for Balenciaga. This time, there were more such flashbacks from Balenciaga's glorious past than ever — and this made the hearts of his long-time fans flutter nostalgically.

But nostalgia has never been the driving force behind Ghesquière's design. On the contrary, it has always been futuristic, looking forward, not back in search of the new forms. And when you see a series of heavy square leather vests with intricate fastenings and pockets or the final series of tulip-skirted dresses, you realise that Ghesquiere began this whole audit of his main hits throughout the years and collections not for the sentimental reasons, but as a search for pathways into the future. And he is on his way already — his studies of shape and silhouette and his overhaul of his own archives only confirm this.

Courtesy: Louis Vuitton

Text: Elena Stafyeva