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Inside Nicolas Ghesquière’s Genderless Vision for the Future at Louis Vuitton

Always a man ahead of the times, Nicolas Ghesquière presents his vision for a non-gender binary wardrobe at Louis Vutitton's Spring/Summer 2021 outing.
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Louis Vuitton was the last show scheduled on the official calendar. It would conclude our first-ever digital fashion month, by which point we thought we had seen every possible version of a virtual runway presentation. The live streams, the lookbooks, the Zoom viewing parties, the presskits sent halfway across the world for an inkling of the show experience. Yet, at Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière proved us entirely wrong.

Set against the backdrop of the newly refurbished La Samaritaine – an iconic and historic Parisian department store – lined with green screens and 360-degree cameras, Ghesquière orchestrated the coming together of a physical and virtual show in ways that we had yet to have witnessed. Viewers tuning in from home were presented with an inhibited all-around view and live audio from the runway presentation as they would have if they were there in the flesh. Meanwhile, the green screens projected scenes from Wim Wenders’ 1987 cult classic Wings Desire, emerging even show attendees in a part-digital presentation.

The forward-thinking ethos does not end with the mechanics of the show presentation. Ghesquière’s trajectory into the future this season sees him subverting gender stereotypes. The topic is by no means an unchartered territory in fashion, yet, Ghesquière’s propositions might just be the most tangible. For instance, the show’s opener – a baggy graphic sweater and oversized pleated trouser combination – could seamlessly fit into the men’s department just as it would the women’s.

The designer’s inquisition into a non-gender binary wardrobe elsewhere in the collection also translated into oversized, cocoon outerwear, exaggerated patchwork dresses that could double up as t-shirts, and blazer suit separates borrowed from the boys.

“My question this season was less about one theme; it was about this zone between femininity and masculinity,” explained Ghesquière in an interview with Vogue.com. “This zone is highlighted by nonbinary people, people that are taking a lot of freedom dressing themselves as they want, and, in turn, giving a lot of freedom to all of us. I found it inspiring to explore what the items are that represent this wardrobe that is not feminine, not masculine. I wanted to zoom in on that section in between.”

Under Ghesquière’s purview, genderless dressing has proven more than just an idea for the runways. It can fully be actualised as a manner of everyday dressing – a future we can certainly get behind.

What To Read Next: 5 Styling Tricks We’re Taking Away from Chanel’s Cool Girl ManualEverything You Need to Know Abou the Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons Union and Brand to Know: Ding Yun Zhang | Cover Collage: Qide Sim. All images: Louis Vuitton.

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