When Nicolas Ghesquière took over as artistic director of Louis Vuitton three years ago, he set out to create a wardrobe of clothes meant to travel from the runway to the street. While his first collections for the maison clearly delivered on that front, for his most recent shows, he has gone back to his experimental self, whether it was the Coachella-vibe of the cruise line he showed in Palm Springs last May or the sci-fi bent of spring/summer 2016.
His most recent show, autumn/winter 2016, which ended Paris Fashion Week under pouring rain on Wednesday, was held as usual at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, this time in a custom-built structure composed of a sphere, a cube and a pyramid.
The "street" element that Ghesquière has been championing at Vuitton resurfaced in a collection that centered on easy-to-wear and athletic-infused pieces – from parkas to down jackets and silk dresses, which came in scarf prints or as panels of fabrics held together by what appeared to be staples – and super-skinny pants, which have by now become one of his signatures.
The lean silhouettes of those trouser suits – a standout black one with cut-outs recalled the oeuvre of Italian artist Lucio Fontana – was a nice counterpoint to the billowing dresses, some of them worn with harness-like bustiers on top or bottoming out in flounces, that dominated the show.
Ghesquière has livened up his wardrobe of staples with more and more daring pieces recently, and this effort was a welcome step into that direction, cementing his status as a design leader, especially in a low-key Paris season that felt anything but groundbreaking.