Once a symbol of the allure and the possibility of air travel and closed for operations since 2001, and now to be opened as a hotel later this month, the renovated TWA Flight Center created by Eero Saarinen in 1962 at New York’s JFK Airport, provided the apt setting for the artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière to present the Louis Vuitton mid-season resort show, a collection of architectural and streamlined clothes that referenced different fashion periods, much in line with the soaring wing shape thin shell roof over the terminal building’s Futurist design, and combined the symbols of New York and the trappings of a strong New York woman with the French house traditional savoir faire craftsmanship.
The American tradition of sportswear and athletic fashion merged with the couture sensibility and knowledge of craftsmanship of the French. Where many of the looks had that feel of the layering of buildings on other buildings reflected in the New York skyline composed of shining glass towers emerging behind older red brick townhouses. The fashion ethos of both worlds combined in collaged and patchworked lifted from different inspired sources to assemble each garment with the utmost care with the most expensive fabrics, lace, leather, silk jacquards and silk satins. The principal shape in the collection espoused the broad shoulder and cropped silhouettes prominent in the 1980’s with the intermittent feel of the 1930’s. The silver metallic embroideries and jacquard fabrics especially in the evening ensembles where sleeveless dress embroidered with motifs of the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings were constructed with white satin trims cutting across the body and perhaps a nod to the mid 90’s the high shorts and leather chunky boots of that prosperous era.
Black-grey-yellow cropped racing leather jacket-capes with embroidered beige lace trims paired with black satin pants. An orange satin cropped baseball jacket with embroidered Manhattan skyline and sporty white and orange satin skirt; A combination of white leather racer and ice blue silk satin single-breasted men’s jacket with chest overlay of embroidered lace and black wool skirt; or white brocade corset and blue satin shorts. Pagoda shoulders, a bit softer and less exaggerated than in the past several seasons, are still prominent with those cropped bikers blousons, cropped striped knit sweaters and a white brocade bomber jacket. A crew neck open shoulder tiered sleeve dress is made with the classic black and white Wall Street pinstripe wool suiting fabric or just a well tailored banker’s suit – an ode to New York as the world’s financial capital.
On the bus from the TWA Flight Center to MOMA’s PS1 where the dinner party was held post-show, I sat next to a mother and daughter team who are LV clients invited to the show and to the pre-order re-see taking place over the next few days. The mother wore a blue metallic top with protruding shoulder paired with matching pants and white leather boots. I mentioned to her that her zippered blouson outfit was a version of look 46 shown in Paris in early October 2018. Elated she asked me what I thought she should look for at her re-see of the collection at the LV American headquarter on 57thstreet the next day. Several must haves for starters that should include the gold jacquard v-neck long sleeve short dress, the broad shoulder double breasted light grey and pale blue leather coat and black leather skirt, the red and black striped knit dress, and for sure the light green satin blouson. I reminded her that for a collector like herself, it is imperative to have the black-grey-yellow crop leather and beige lace jacket with black satin pants with beige ‘knee pads’ insert. She was thankful for the advice.
Photos courtesy of Louis Vuitton