Louis Vuitton’s Fornasetti-inspired collection blends modernity and antiquity

Set at the Louvre, Nicolas Ghesquière’s latest presentation experiments with motion, timelessness, and gender ambiguity

Known for showcasing his designs in iconic architectural landmarks, Louis Vuitton’s creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière, did not allow the past year’s COVID chaos to deter him. Without the usual in-person audience lining the runway, models intermixed with the Louvre’s prominent array of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman sculptures in the museum’s Denon Wing.

Ghesquière’s collaboration with the Italian design atelier Fornasetti, widely appreciated by art lovers for carefully hand-drawn imagery of women from antiquity since its founding in 1940, cultivates an aesthetic that transcends time. The collection furthers the director’s legacy of mixing eras through the inclusion of anachronistic elements, only this time as a response to the felt effects of life in lockdown.

With baggy, loose fits and bold silhouettes, the collection is designed to emphasize both movement and freedom; the ever-irreverent Ghesquière undoubtedly designed a collection that anticipates reemergence from the mandated isolation in the age of social distancing. Leaning into the concepts of motion, timelessness, and gender ambiguity, the designer melds a variety of lavish colors and contrasting textures, achieved by jacquard, embroidery, and laser printing.

The collection ultimately tells a story of humankind’s enduring hopefulness, which is brought to fruition through the persevering relevance of age-old principles present in Fornasetti’s drawings. An overarching narrative of duality is the resulting effect of Ghesquière’s love of contrast paired with the cultural context of Fornasetti’s designs in a world at standstill. In other words, Louis Vuttion continues to artfully walk the line between tradition and modernity.