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At Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière Looks to the Past—and the Future

louis vuitton fall 2024
At Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière Looks Backlaunchmetrics

The sun was almost down in Paris when guests began to walk past the Louvre’s glass entrance and into the Cour Carrée. There was magic in the air, both inside and outside of the gigantic tent that housed some 4,000 seats and the runway where Louis Vuitton’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquière would present his fall 2024 collection, marking ten years at the helm of the house. Among the thousands of attendees were Vuitton store managers from across the globe, as well as store employees from across France, all invited to see the show for the first time in honor of Ghesquière’s anniversary.

At the center of the tent there was a giant silver, spikey orb that called to mind the designer’s love of other-worldly design. On each seat there were typewritten notes signed “Nicolas,” similar to the ones he wrote and placed on the seats for guests at his debut show for Louis Vuitton in 2014. In this letter, Ghesquière said, “I thank you for sharing in these past ten years of design with me. Ten years to a creator is the time to say things well.”

louis vuitton fall 2024
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When the show began, it quickly became clear that this collection was something deeper than a retrospective—it was introspective. Ghesquière has always been precise about how he interprets time through his clothes, designing with the intent to give us a peep hole to the past while simultaneously thrusting us into forward motion.

If you’re a Ghesquière stan, there were plenty of easter eggs in this collection that harkened back to some of his most iconic designs for Louis Vuitton. You could find them in the squint-inducing precision of the embroidered and embellished jackets and in the hodgepodge of silhouettes that gave you wild pouf and ethereal fluidity in one single look. You could also see so much Ghesquière language in the exquisite handwork of the architectural tailoring, whether on a space-age skirt suit or a sliced-and-diced tailcoat.

louis vuitton fall 2024
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The vernacular that Ghesquière has built over the last ten years was as strong as ever tonight, but it was also pushed forward once again. As head of content at SSENSE, Steff Yotka, said to me after the show (she’s one of the biggest Ghesquière stans out there), “Every look was an idea—there was no wasted space.”

Ghesquière is a master of his craft because of the way he can cut garments, but more importantly, he creates feelings and concepts with clothes. For fall, he challenged us to play more with shape and texture, whether we fancy a touch of crinoline on our asymmetrical hem dresses or find delight in a jacquard tracksuit. And bless this man for not feeding into the no-pants craze that’s become Gen Z bait among some luxury houses—every look came with a bottom or at the very least, a real hemline.

louis vuitton fall 2024
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That’s another important thing to note about Ghesquière: In ten years at Louis Vuitton, he’s avoided tapping into a fad, a novelty, or a merch-y ready-to-wear gimmick in order to sell more accessories for the brand. These clothes, the ones we saw tonight and all of Ghesquière’s previous work, are gestural and intentional and they aren’t about virality. For him, the runway collections are about the purity of design and the power of fashion as expression.

The finale was followed by a standing ovation for Ghesquière, who took a bow with a beaming smile on his face. It was clear that he was celebrating his grand accomplishments, but also that he still had so much more to say. There was such beauty in this collection but it was a beauty that was as much about forward motion as it was retrospective. What a gift he’s given those of us who love fashion over the last ten years, and how lucky are we to watch him continue on. In his sign-off on the note left on our seats, Ghesquière once again left the door of possibility wide open: “You were with me, the 5th of March 2014, one morning. You are here again with me today, this evening. Tomorrow.”

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