Artistic Director Nicolas Ghesquière weaves antiquity into modernity for Louis Vuitton’s F/W 2021 collection
“Exploring the Fornasetti archives had the excitement of an archaeological dig, searching for and finding drawings from the past to give them a new life for Louis Vuitton,” says Ghesquière. “For now and the future.”
Louis Vuitton brings alive the Louvre and all of its finest works for a contemporary Fall/Winter line inspired by ancient Greece. Nicolas Ghesquière, Artistic Director of Women’s collections at LV, incorporates the delicate drawings by famed 20th century Italian artist, Piero Fornasetti into multiple designs to establish a Greco-Roman aesthetic in this otherwise modern collection. No other setting but the famed Parisian museum would be grand enough for a presentation of creative dialogue between artistic eras.
The Michelangelo and Deru Galleries serve as a runway for 45 looks of cutting-edge design and artistic technique, set to the dancey tune of French electronic music duo, Daft Punk. The French fashion house utilizes jacquard, embroidery and laser printing throughout the collection. Oversized outerwear is highlighted in various silhouettes of blazers, sleeveless vests and trench coats. Striking prints of Greco-Roman statue heads and ancient gold coins are stamped on dresses in bold hues of magenta, ornate gold and emerald green.
Louis Vuitton takes a page out of street style’s book in their lineup of kitschy accessories. Portrait bags in the shape of Roman statue heads and Fornasetti-stamped leather clutches perpetuate the dialogue between new and old.
“With this collaboration, I wanted to use the pieces to evoke the continuing modernity of Fornasetti’s artistic world,” says Ghesquière. “Fornasetti’s enduring body of work is the realisation of a remarkable hand-drawn technique and magical take on the world, and I am particularly drawn to the way Fornasetti re-explored and reworked the heritage of classicism and ancient Rome, adding new references to historical imagery. As a designer who has always loved fashion’s ability to evoke the past, present and future simultaneously, I wanted to add new layers to this creative palimpsest.”
The Fornasetti atelier served as a mood board of sorts for the design for Ghesquière. To bring this collaboration to life, the designer dug through the 13,000-piece Fornasetti archives in Milan, handselecting illustrations for their rich colors, textures and artistic expression.
Barnaba Fornasetti, son of Piero Fornasetti and the brand’s artistic director, encouraged the collaboration. “My father was an innovator who believed in the handmade, just like Louis Vuitton. Our vision has always been to bring Fornasetti’s unique artistic imagination to people through beautifully crafted objects,” he proudly says of his father’s legacy and the effortless integration of 20th century art into 21st century design. “This rewarding collaboration represents a new opportunity to expand and explore its visual creativity.”
Louis Vuitton’s F/W 2021 collection is the first foray into collaboration with the Fornasetti atelier. LV is expected to release a larger Louis Vuitton x Fornasetti capsule at a later date.