PFW SS20: Louis Vuitton

LA BELLE Époque, translated into English as The Beautiful Age, was the main source of inspiration for the Louis Vuitton SS20 collection. Reimagined in an almost futuristic setting, the backdrop reflects the nuanced theme of the collection. Projecting a Goddess-like video of transgender pop-singer Sophie behind the runway, fashion not only becomes ageless, but transcends binary concepts of gender.

The final show of PFW, Vuitton closed SS20 with graphic prints, an expansive colour palette, and structured silhouettes. While their SS19 collection also took on bold graphic prints, this collections prints draws its influence from 19th century art, tying into its over-arching theme of La Belle Époque-era design. Layering and mismatched prints take centre-stage, in one of the fashion house’s most experimental collections with colour and shape of late. Almost every look was also adorned with brooches designed to look like pressed flowers, a subtle homage to the iconic Vuitton floral monogram.

Although taking inspiration from 18th century fashion – also a major theme of PFW SS20 – creative director Nicolas Ghesquière disregards archaic constructions of gender. The collection draws influence from La Belle Nicolas Époque-age menswear design, seen through Vuitton’s take on the pant-suit, pin-striped trousers, and waist-coats. Refusing to conform to the limited binaries of womenswear and menswear, Ghesquière creates a collection that opens up a conversation on gender-fluidity in fashion.

Shoes and accessories stole the lime-light. In pop-surrealist like fashion, VHS video-tape shaped purses made an appearance, and tote-bags printed with VHS videos – featuring wittyVuitton related titles including The Back Pack is Back and Louis Big Adventure’. Shoes include Baroque-like lace up cream boots and platform brogues – as well as oversized bowler hats, in an another subtly masculine touch to the collection.

by Emma Hart

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