The wait for fashion’s most feted out of work designer to find a new home has finally come to end. Louis Vuitton has announced that former Balenciaga creative director Nicolas Ghesquière will succeed Marc Jacobs to helm the French luxury label. While rumours of the appointment have been rife in recent weeks, we now know that the man who brought the world Lego shoes, the Lariat bag and the Ceinture ankle boot will be presenting his uncompromising vision of fashion innovation to a whole new customer.
Nicolas Ghesquiere at his S/S 2012 show, Image: Rex
Of course, there are big boots to fill and Jacobs’ role in transforming Louis Vuitton into one of the world’s most profitable luxury labels will leave a lasting legacy. In saying that we can make a few considered predictions of what we might expect from Nicolas in the coming seasons….
1. Killer Shoes
Nicolas Ghesquiere is the master of the completely original, game-changing accessory. His shoes and boots for Balenciaga were always particularly strong – all you have to do is look down towards the style pack's tootsies and you’ll be more likely than not to spot his cordwainery in action.
Nicolas Ghesquiere's Ceinture Boots & Lego Shoes
2. Incredible Silhouettes
During his 15 year tenure at Balenciaga, Nicolas became perfectly in tune with the bold shapes and silhouettes pioneered by the label’s founder Cristóbal Balenciaga. His ability to reinterpret the archives from classic sack-back and cocoon pieces and remodel them for a new generation created a frisson between the old and new. That mash-up between mid-centruy couture and retro pop-culture references went on to redefine the tastes of many a luxury consumer.
Looks from Balenciaga Collections, left to right: S/S2012, S/S2013, A/W 2010, All Images: Catwalking
3. Razor-Sharp Tailoring
Beautifully cut dresses, skirts and jackets have made Nicolas Ghesquière a fashion lover's secret wardrobe weapon. Always cut with a subversive and often sensual appeal, he proves time and time again that he can do classics just as well as those statement catwalk looks that get the flashbulbs popping.
Jennifer Connelly Works a Sharp Tailored Dress by the Designer from A/W 2008 Collection, Image: Rex
4. Avant-Garde FROW & Campaign Stars
Nicolas Ghesquière’s friendships with Hollywood and rock ‘n’ roll’s most edgy stars always make for exciting star-spotting outside his shows. Kristen Stewart will doubtless be defecting from Balenciaga where she is currently the face of the label’s Florabotanica scent (she famously admitted to 032c magazine that she had told the designer 'I will totally run away with you', when she heard of his departure from the label). We also can’t wait to see the hip brigade including Charlotte Gainsbourg and Chloe Sevigny rocking the FROW at his debut show for Louis Vuitton.
Left: The Designer with Kristen Stewart, Right: The Designer With Chloe Sevigny, Both Images: Rex
5. Space: The Final Frontier
‘To boldly go where no man has gone before,’ might be the title sequence for the Star Trek series, but it could also serve as Nicolas Ghesquière’s motto for life. His continual references to science fiction - often retro visions of futurism from the 60's to the 80's - is one of the defining facets of his weird and wonderful taste. If you didn’t manage to pick up one of his ubiquitous ‘Out Of The Blue’ or ‘Join A Trip’ sci-fi sweaters, you never know, something similar could be in the pipeline soon!
Left to Right: Balenciaga A/W 2012, Balenciaga S/S 2012, Balenciaga A/W 2012, All Images: Catwalking
6. Arm Candy
The power of the Lariat bag knew no bounds during the noughties, with celebrities falling left right and centre for Ghesquière’s It-Bag. We can’t wait to see what his first tote for leather specialists Louis Vuitton will look like and can only imagine what fun he will have re-interpreting the iconic LV logo!
The iconic Lariat Bag