Louis Vuitton, AW14, Paris.
It was fitting for a house such as Louis Vuitton, that is so renowned for it’s leather goods, that the clothes in the Autumn-Winter 2014 collection reflected the craftsmanship and techniques required to handle leather with sensitivity. It was also interesting to see that the use of leather was balanced with experiments in comfortable and easy-to-wear knit garments. This combination of fabrics gave Nicolas Ghesquière a range of textures to pair and contrast in his first collection for Louis Vuitton.
The sheer wealth of leather craftsmanship that must be available to Ghesquière at Louis Vuitton means that he can work with leather without as many of the construction limitations that would usually mean that leather is relegated to certain garments and silhouettes as a “difficult” fabric. This freedom was expressed through the way that leather was shown in a variety of colours, textures and weights, easily combined with other fabrics and knit collars or layered up upon itself for tonal and contrasting pocket details.
No doubt the crafts people of Louis Vuitton have many skills for reducing the amount of bulk that can sometimes be seen lingering around the thick seam allowances or bulky edges of less resolved leather garments. On bulky fabrics, even the usual construction method for a dart goes out the window. On one garment in this collection the dart shaping appears to have been replaced with a slit in the leather which is then appliquéd onto a contrasting base colour. On another, the leather appears to be lapped and topstitched to take into account the dart shaping without needing the bulk of the full triangle of dart value.
As with many of Ghesquière’s collections at Balenciaga, there were also details worked into the fabric of some garments. In one case a retro floral was punctuated with organically shaped grommets in gold and silver. In a handful of dresses it appeared as though individual feathers had been layered in a gradient of greys, which may also have been created by stitching on rows of lasercut pieces of fabric.
Images from Vogue.co.uk»