Paris Fashion Week: Spacing Out at Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu

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Shailene Woodley, Urassaya Sperbund and Amandla Sternberg at Louis Vuitton Spring 2019

Back to the retro-future.

The monthlong, four-city marathon of Spring 2019 fashion shows ended in Paris on Tuesday night at the Louvre, where Louis Vuitton, the granddaddy of all luxury brands, had the last word, such as it was.

If any of the multitude of stars in the front row, Amandla Stenberg, Shailene Woodley and Cate Blanchett among them, wanted to plan ahead for what to wear for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art’s gala opening, Louis Vuitton artistic director Nicolas Ghesquiere would have a couple of options in the form of minidresses with built-out shoulders or space-agey sleeves, in silver honeycomb lace, or with groovy embroidered mirror embellishments.

With the Louvre’s ancient-meets-modern I.M. Pei-designed glass pyramid as a backdrop for his seasonal shows, it’s easy to see how Ghesquiere would be inspired to do retro-futuristic space garb. Famously enamored of and influenced by sci-fi, from Disney’s Space Mountain amusement park ride to that Stranger Things T-shirt that came down the runway last season, he went all-out (of this world) again with the collection, showing articulated sleeve details, modular tailoring, '80s Memphis prints and Star Wars-worthy graphics that looked as if they could be the droids you’re looking for. The shapes and styles nodded to streetwear-loving youth, with muscle tees and T-shirt dresses, miniskirts and windbreakers.

But the result was more campy, Jet Rag vintage than jet set, as if Ghesquiere’s imagination got away with him, and he lost sight of the intended target: the luxury customer.

Earlier in the day, Miuccia Prada demonstrated she has the formula for her Miu Miu collection down to a science: prim with an edge. In a final salvo for individual style this season, her pretty/ugly models sported strange haircuts and goggle sunglasses, defining fashion on their own terms, by finding elegance in the everyday. They dressed up shorts with sheer skirts, satin dresses with satin knot and rosette details, lady skirts with tie-front sweaters, all of it accessorized with knee socks and glittering sandals. 

Even a humble pleated denim skirt and fit-and-flare dress were elevated to glamour-puss status, decked out with odd-sized jewels, and worn with girlish crystal headbands. It was all blissfully naïve: fashion for nobody else but you.