Thursday 7th March

| BY Claudia Croft

Louis Vuitton: Ready-To-Wear AW19

It was a museum, within a museum – and a majestic, meta moment to end Paris fashion week. Nicolas Ghesquiere built a convincing replica of the Pompidou centre in a vast marquee inside a courtyard of the Louvre museum. The scale of it was awe inspiring and it brought home the power of the brand. The only limits here are the imagination. Luckily, that’s an area in which Ghesquiere never lacks. He’d thought about a time before social media, when an expressive individualism ruled. The glamour of eighties new wave provided the undercurrent for this show which was inspired by the style tribes that congregate in the great public spaces around the Pompidou.

There was tomboy tailoring, overblown eighties finery mashed up with sportswear and exaggerated Pierrot flounced blouses tucked into tapered trousers. Above the knee rah rah skirts and stompy, rubber soled lace-ups added a youthful swish. The silhouettes were expressive and bold and the craft shone through. Couture level floral embroideries glittered on enveloping jackets, and bejewelled tweeds added a haute edge to bourgeois skirts and jackets. This abundance of next-level embellishment proved the house’s claim that customers come to Vuitton for stand-out pieces. The whole show had another element too – a layer of Parisian cool that’s as tricky to pin down as a puff of Gittanes smoke. You know it when you see it.

Photographs by Jason-Lloyd Evans.