Continuing Louis Vuitton’s robust history of artistic commingling, creative director Nicolas Ghesquière explored Fornasetti’s expansive archives for inspiration, incorporating a selection of golden age prints into the maison’s Fall/ Winter 2021 collection.
The exuberant collaboration effectively consolidates two visual worlds, bridging classicism and sartorial innovation on the catwalk. Fornasetti’s artistic director Barnaba Fornasetti notes that “this rewarding collaboration represents a new opportunity to expand and explore Fornasetti’s visual creativity,” and allows both designers to craft stunning visuals that captivate the fashion world. In response, Ghesquière mentions that, “as a designer who has always loved fashion’s ability to evoke the past, present and future simultaneously, I wanted to add new layers to this creative palimpsest.” A creative extension of each other’s work, the fruits of this collaborative labour feature a rebellious interpretation of Louis Vuitton’s heritage, where Fornasetti prints appear on coats, vests, and bags alongside the signature house monogram.
Ghesquière’s optimistic look toward the future is exemplified in the designs, which feature balloon-shaped silhouettes, laser cutting, and neoprene. This sense of wonder, paired with Fornasetti’s playful use of ancient iconography, hints at the exciting trajectory of where fashion is heading, in which disparate styles, when blended together, are viewed as simply regular. This whimsical synthesis creates a quasi-warrior aesthetic, using bold circular shapes, pops of colour, and modern renditions of gladiator styles to emphasize the fearlessness of both brands.
The clothing and accessories’ epoch-clashing tendencies extended to the collection’s runway presentation. The familiar setting of the stately Louvre museum, juxtaposed with contemporary lighting displays, created a jarring juxtaposition of old and new, a metaphorical patchwork of eras. By featuring models weaving between artifacts, it made note of the influence of classical forms, while allowing the garments to represent a continuation of this artistic continuum. Daft Punk’s “Around the World” provided an upbeat soundtrack as the models ascended down the famed hallways, symbolizing the journey to encapsulate the past, present, and future into one singular moment in time.