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Our past informs our future, and that is even more true in fashion. Inspired by the Belle Époque era, Nicolas Ghesquière has closed Spring/Summer 2020 Paris fashion week with a ready-to-wear collection for Louis Vuitton characterized by pouf sleeves, masculine Dandy-inspired suits and tailored pieces, vibrant colours and lots of psychedellic as well as Art Nouveau-style prints.

Despite its très français original inspiration, the bowler hats, three-piece suits, bold prints, midi dresses, colourful trench coats, VHS-inspired bags and knee-high boots also transported us to a 1960s swinging London-era vibe. Maybe it’s because both time periods have a lot in common, from female emancipation to using nature as a main referent or the general vibe infused with a carpe diem, joie de vivre philosophy. And also, a will to stand out and speak out, to be whoever you want to be and express it loudly and proudly. Ghesquière reflects on today’s society by revisiting past decades – in the end, we’re all humans and always have been, so we don’t differ much from our predecessors.

This sense of individuality and celebration was hugely celebrated as well on the big screen that served as the backdrop. Scottish singer, producer, songwriter and DJ Sophie, who’s played in dozens of festivals these past years with her experimental pop and electronic music and has produced songs for the likes of Charli XCX, Madonna and Vince Staples, adapted her 2017 hit It’s Okay to Cry for the special occasion with the collaboration of Woodkid – he actually introduced the singer and producer to Ghesquière. Her face, displayed on the giant screen, witnessed the models walking down the catwalk while herself sat among the audience.

The show’s setting had even more things to talk about. Since sustainability has become of extreme importance, the French maison used wood sourced entirely from sustainably managed forests in France which were later donated for reuse as part of a partnership with ArtStock. Thus, this respect for nature that characterized both the Belle Époque and the 1960s transcends the clothing and serves a bigger purpose.

Arnau Salvadó

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