The New (Old) Fashion Houses

The mainstays of European fashion are being given another lease on life by their newly appointed designers.

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Louis Vuitton: Nicolas Ghesquiere

The Backstory
As the designer of Balenciaga, a position he held for 15 years, if Ghesquière sneezed, the fashion community would catch a cold. So when he was hired by Louis Vuitton, the fashion faithful reached for their Kleenex.

The Reaction
While Ghesquière’s debut fall/winter offering for Louis Vuitton in March (a ’60s-inflected collection of mostly A-line skirts and dresses in cheerless color combinations) met with positive reviews and is bound to be copied by fast-fashion retailers, this was more a declaration of intent than a watershed moment.

The Outlook
No chance of Ghesquière’s being ousted. His generous use of skins should please the brass at hide-proud Vuitton, as should his Petite Malle (small trunk) handbag, which may well prove to be one of the accessories of the season.