At the Fondation Maeght: A gallery designed by Josep Lluís Sert, just outside Saint-Paul-de-Vence
If fashion describes the passing of time, Ghesquière sums up the world around us: his vision remains true to itself; every external or artistic influence is woven into his discourse. To see it through his eyes, the universe seems traced out along diagonal lines: he finds such diagonals everywhere, in continents and centuries, in contrasts and melodies, in competitions and contradictions.
Diagonal lines flow down from the neck along the back, curving back in over the hips as though tracing out love handles. Ghesquière has a talent for précis: the rhythm of house music echoes the sound of the rain in the pine forest which, although it fell in the Gabriele d’Annunzio poem, has been kept away for the occasion by an Indian shaman. A model appears with a tribal symbol on her brow; she is a Targaryen virgin for Lady Stark, who’s in the audience. In the front row are Mark Ronson and Isabelle Huppert. Red and purple patent leather inserts over a light beige cotton fabric; enamelled fiery red, over pink Provençal wildflowers transplanted to Easter Island. Embroidered robes pay tribute to Dior under Chiuri, while metal scales and feathers give a nod to Gucci. There’s nostalgia for Turandot, the kingdom of heaven. The models walk through a maze designed by Jean Mirò: Renaissance-style sleeves peek out from coat cuffs; jackets are plucked from the wardrobe of one of Slimane’s beloved L.A. bikers. Martian boots, diving masks. The embroidery is a chequerboard of grey, black and copper sequins. Voluminous jackets appear in memory of Balenciaga – referencing the founder himself, Ghesquière’s own stint there, and the maison’s current creative direction.
Culture truly is the outcome of a complicated conversation. In the 1950s, brothers François and Bernard Baschet experimented with metal and glass acoustic structures, mounting pitched sound rods onto drums and stringed instruments. Their creations were rediscovered and salvaged by Woodkid, a thirty-four-year-old artist of the genre that counts today: an author, director, graphic designer and composer. Woodkid assembled an alternative rock band to perform in an alfresco chamber-music setting, and worked on the soundtrack for Ghesquière’s show; the music set the rhythm for Jennifer Connelly as she read out excerpts from the Grace Coddington biography (her stylised cats appeared fleetingly on bags and on the invites).
The Louis Vuitton Cruise Collection for 2019 was shown at the Fondation Maeght, a gallery designed by Josep Lluís Sert set among tall umbrella pines and nestled in the Provençal hills near Saint-Paul-de-Vence, just above Nice. Aimé Maeght was an art dealer and collector in twentieth-century Paris; as mentioned, between the building and its gardens stands a maze created by Mirò; there’s a Chagall wall mosaic; a concrete and glass swimming pool by Braque, and the fountain designed by Bury. The courtyard is the work of Giacometti, with statues arranged like onstage extras, and a bench on the roof composed of semi-circles and flat lines. Beneath the bench, which looks out over a void, is the Italian inscription “Per quelli che volano” – for those who fly.