Shot by Steven Meisel in a New York studio, the ad reflects exactly the fashion show mood, as Athena Wilson, Janice Alida, Ji Hye Park, Magdalena Jasek, Nastya Kusakina, Ruby Jean Wilson, and Tian Yi got reunited as twin for the ad.
“The message of repetition and the repetition of patterns.” Marc Jacobs noted that his collection was inspired by one of Buren’s most famous works,the striped columns of different heights in Palais Royal, known as Les Deux Plateaux, and played with Vuitton’s famous Damier check.
Buren has also been tapped to do window displays for select Vuitton boutiques, timed for the arrival of the ready-to-wear collection in March.
A strict perpendicular block interrupted at three levels forms the basis of every silhouette in this collection. The only deviation from the straight and narrow comes in the curve of the sleeve head. This disciplined approach is inspired in part by Les Deux Plateaux, a work by the conceptual artist Daniel Buren, which consists of 260 columns of three different heights arranged in a grid.
This is the first ever Louis Vuitton collection not to make use of the Monogram. Instead, the Damier pattern provides the house’s signature. Squares are arranged in mathematical grids in differing colours and textures and at varying scales, creating a boldly graphic quality. Abstracted flower shapes offer an organic contrast to these rectilinear structures.
The fresh simplicity of the forms belies the intensity of the processes that created them. The embellishments for which Louis Vuitton is renowned are deployed in ways that are not immediately obvious. The smallest sequins ever produced are arranged by the thousand to create fluid metallic surfaces. ‘Tuffetage’, a technique taken from carpet-making, is embroidered on cloth and leather to create a flock-like effect.
The collection is presented on a site-specific installation created by Daniel Buren in collaboration with Louis Vuitton. This presentation is dedicated to Yves Carcelle, for his years of dedication to Louis Vuitton.
Thursday September 27, 2012 – Ecole des Beaux Arts de Paris
There must be something in the water in Paris because it seems that a slew of designers have all been afflicted with a strong case of nostalgia. Take Alber Elbaz’s Spring 2013 show, which showed all the tell-tale signs of a yearning for the past, with its strongly defined 90’s shoulder silhouettes, YSL smoking jackets and classic Japonismse kimono belting.
There was a bit of irony in the juxtaposition between showing at the École des Beaux Arts, with its sculptured marble statues perched high above the stadium-high ceilings, and Elbaz’s collection of square shouldered jackets and box-shaped printed tunics. But given his whimsical nature, it should’t surprise many. What was a surprise however was his break from beautiful one-shoulder dress-draping and experimenting with a variety of new materials and techniques. Take for example his opening look, a cleavage baring black cotton jumper with a cropped silk lapel smoking jacket, cinched at the waist with a faded wood-grain textured belt. This foreign departure from his usual one-piece dress repertoire was a welcome shakeup of the usual fare. And the timing could not be better either; after celebrating his 10 years at the famed fashion house, Alber might’ve felt compelled to break from the cycle of the house codes and opt for something new and different.
Black cotton or leather jumper looks with kimono-belt fastened waistlines, while exquisitely done, felt a bit too literal in their references to YSL though an asymmetrical bathing suit number with a pair of ankle-cropped trousers looked absolutely stunning. But there were quibbles to be had with the belting on certain dresses which, while appearing to have been integrated as deconstructed seams across busts and waistlines, looked a bit sloppy and having been integrated as an afterthought. But his fortés lied with his jackets. especially a perfecto with a white lapel inset and a sharp black-grey fabric division at the sleeves that accentuated the length of the torso and had a sublime slimming effect.
Sleeveless Venus de Milo silk prints on boxy tunics with gold-plated choker necklaces were humorously playful, though that moment was quickly replaced by severely embellished numbers. Geometric hardware in metallic gold and shiny black stone varieties were intricately stitched across the fabrics of taffeta jackets, jumpers, pants, and dresses that, despite its decorative qualities, felt a little-bit ‘kitchsy’ and not unlike something that one’s mother might’ve worn to Studio 54 in her disco-heyday. It seems that in Elbaz’s haste to make these highly ornamental looks, he might have also neglected to take into account about how one could comfortably sit on chair with them on, but that might be resolved prior to production.
The final series of looks were done in variety of neutrals, muted turquoises, mustards, violets, burgundies and greens evolved the belting theme into ribboning, along shoulders and hips. Taking a step back at the collection does offer a bit of perspective about the direction where Lanvin has been and where it is heading. Given his time at YSL many moons ago and the location choice (Beaux-Arts was a favorite of Yves), Alber may be trying to cash in on the attention being focused on Hedi Slimane as he unveils his first Saint Laurent collection. Thunder-stealing? Perhaps a bit, but when done as well as Elbaz has demonstrated, one can’t complain too much either.
Tuesday September 13, 2011 – Center 548 west 22nd street
It’s the third collection that Olivier Theyskens is showing with Theory. The Fast Retailing Group that owns Theory also owns Uniqlo, Helmut Lang as well as the french brands Comptoir des Cotonniers and Princesse Tam Tam. Last season many wondered in which retail section the collection will be located in the department stores. It would be hard to place it next to Gucci or YSL, though it could be sold alongside Marc by Marc Jacobs? The collection, having been “made in China”, offers a competitive price point. As for the clothes themselves, they evolved and kept few of the Theyskens’ Theory codes shown last season.
For Spring 2012, we found that many of the looks have a sort of deja vu, especially the jackets that have an inevitable Isabel Marant style. Who is to blame? Certainly not the designer, though the marketing machine behind Theyskens’ Theory is a more likely suspect. It is the same marketing studio that sent Helmut Lang numbers down the runway which appear to be directly inspired by Alexander Wang or Rick Owens. Despite the similarities, Theysken’s Theory collection makes you want to be ‘that girl’. She doesn’t look like a girl walking down the runway; she looks like a cool girl from the street, just like the Isabel Marant girl.
The jackets are cropped and have the back V neck cut (Olivier’s signature), made in tweed or embroidered with sequins. The pants have a tromp e l’oeil low waist. Aside from the clothing, the bags featuring a chain do not take away the edgy style. For the final, the models switched from their vertiginous heels into Dr. Martens, which equally looked beautiful. The more interesting element about this collection is seeing where Olivier takes it in the long run. The brand is not only successful at attracting “high-end clients” but they’re doing so without directly competing with other fashion houses and offering stylish wares at an unbeatably lower price point.
A bit of folk and romanticism exalted from Vanessa Bruno’s Fall 2011 collection. The designer went for an Eastern european style with head scarves, white cotton tablecloth dresses, embroidered thick wool coats and slouchy suede boots. Smock tops were layered over skirts with embroidered hems while coats were stripped of any apparent buttons. Gorgeous terra-cotta suede Shoulder bag crafted from terracotta suede, a Tuscan lamb collar and embroidered Coat showed Ms. Bruno’s knack at making “artisanal” chic. And since ‘vintage looking’ pieces are her speciality, it only seems right that the designer opened up shop in the heart of all that is “vintage wear”, Melrose Avenue, L.A.. We especially love that every single piece can be easily mixed and matched, making the collection as a whole a must-have for any girl’s wardrobe.
For Fall 2011, Felipe Oliveira Baptista played with the effects of combining all sorts of textures, weights and materials.“I wanted to make things that were rigid, very loose and deconstructed,” Baptista explained backstage.Organized in thin superimposed layers on a muslin background. some silhouettes are set with abstract reptile prints, or monochrome, laser cut scales. Following the idea of trompe l’oeil seen at the Spring 2011 show, the “2 in 1″ trompe l’oeil day dresses, and the evening high waist trousers, declined in deep ” forest green ” or midnight shades are erected on stingray heels, emerging a fascinating androgynous, mutant elegance.