Paris Fashion Week: A luxury take on biker style for Louis Vuitton

Star-studded audience see final day show of ‘reloaded’ Ghesquiere road warriers


Paris fashion week closed on Wednesday with a defiantly urban-inspired collection from Nicholas Ghesquiere at Louis Vuitton.

The show involved high tech display screens in an annexe constructed beside Frank Gehry’s spectacular Foundation building in the Bois de Bologne. Catherine Deneuve, the US actor Michelle Williams and Miranda Kerr were among the celebrity guests.

For this show, the familiar everyday street wardrobe of biker jackets, jeans, boots, chains and studs was given an upscale treatment and “reloaded” as the designer put it, in linen, silk, leather, python and other luxury materials.

Questions of gender fluidity, modern romance and femininity were the starting points of the silhouettes, Ghesquiere said, and these were reflected in the colours selected – pink and black – for the opening ensembles and even the hairdos.

The tough girl, road warrior look was reinforced with jumpsuits, tattered tops, and chunky whip stitched platform sandals, the sort of gear the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo might wear. Where dresses were long and delicately embroidered, they were hardened up with flat shoes or steel capped ankle boots.

Where cotton bubble skirts were short and white, their girlishness was kept in check with painted bomber jackets embossed with the house’s signature monograms or with studded leather waistcoats.

There was no missing the point driven home by accessories like overstitched cuffs, bags with studs and tassels, mini Lockits in crocodile or tiny versions of the famous Vuitton trunk. There’s a girly season ahead but that mix of strength and fragility was at the heart of many other collections for spring.

Elsewhere, Irish designers flying the flag at Paris fashion week included Lucy Downes, Una Burke, Danielle Romeril and Richard Malone all of whom reported encouraging sales and growing international interest.

At the Irish Embassy on Wednesday, Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason (dressed in a gold brocade ensemble by the Irish designer Niamh O Neill) hosted an event for Irish Design 2015 promoting Showcase Ireland, Ireland’s Creative Expo in January with a selection of fashion, jewellery, knitwear and crafts on display from Irish designers.

“We are the most dynamic economy in the euro zone and what you see here reflects the confidence, creativity and energy in Ireland today,” she said.