Marie-Amélie Sauvé captioned it perfectly on an Instagram post, just: “Janaye walking into the future” next to a picture of the model on the Louis Vuitton catwalk, wearing a silver embroidered frock coat, beamed in from the 18th century and teamed with light blue silk boxer shorts and future-like sneakers. Sauvé has worked with Vuitton Creative Director Nicolas Ghesquière as stylist, muse and all round incredible woman, from the very get-go at their former haunt of Balenciaga. More of *that* later.
The unlikely union of frockcoat and sportswear was the source of a dozen or so looks, which, at first jarred, then garnered coos from the world’s press in Paris for this, the last big brand show of the season.
From the court of an 18th Century prince came a fencing doublet fashioned in a black patent fabric, which had a touch of the sex dungeon about it. But “waking into the future”? What did Sauvé mean? She could mean the past reissued in shiny modern fabrics. She could also mean a fragmented future with pieces of the past repurposed and all worn with sportswear. It’s probably both. The idea of Louis XIV or some old king at the gym in ceremonial get-up is pleasing in so many ways. The blouses were pleasing: something to go fencing in, something Mick Jagger would have worn mid-60s. Something quite brilliant.
Back to Ghesquière’s work at Balenciaga and many of the shapes, if not exactly the same, had the same feel: the leather holster dresses, the dresses which fell forward from the shoulder with a line of fabric – all had an old / new Ghesquière-ness to them. This, of course, is no bad thing: Ghesquière can do what he wants with his own archive. And anyway, they were incredible. It all was.
Photographs by Jason Lloyd Evans