For Fall 2021, Louis Vuitton goes art and antiquity with its latest collaboration and show. Since taking the helm in 2013, Nicolas Ghesquière is responsible for some truly unforgettable collections. Louis Vuitton’s spirit of travel and classic monogrammed designs fused with contemporary suave. Ghesquière also continued LV’s tradition of famous collaborations with world-renowned artists.
For Fall 2021, Ghesquière treats us to yet another, presenting a collaborative capsule collection with Italian homeware label Fornasetti. Italian artist Piero Fornasetti worked in the early 20th century. His style was one that many find difficult to define, and others say was surrealism. His work is replete with motifs (like women’s faces, architecture, geometrics) and created in variations on themes. But, it is enduringly popular – and currently is reprinted on household items.
The show takes place at the Michelangelo Gallery at the Louvre in Paris. Bags pay homage to the museum’s famous sculptures, interpreting these relics of the past in new ways to emphasize contemporary style. The collection also reimagines LV classics. These designs feature hand-drawn illustrations of sculptures offset by Monogram and metallic-colored backdrops. Many new designs pop up too, showcasing Ghesquière’s take on some of the season’s most popular bag trends.
Similar to Louis Vuitton’s past artist collaborations, the LV x Fornasetti capsule fuses Vuitton favorites and new designs with exquisite artwork. However, the intricately drawn images of people from ancient times conjure feelings of a fanciful history and the subsequent designs combine the past and future. This is in stark contrast to many of the house’s previous collaborations. Take, for example, two ever-popular collections are Takashi Murakami’s famous Multicolore Monogram and Stephen Sprouse’s Graffiti collection. Both were multicolored and playful, almost cartoon-like, unlike the latest collaboration.
Louis Vuitton seems to be moving away from mini and micro bags and onto more wearable, yet equally covetable designs. And while seemingly contradictory to the theme of historical sculptures (ever the practical accessory), Ghesquière’s LV offering for fall 2021 is all about glamorous opulence in anticipation for post-COVID furor. So, on reflection, wearable art seems like the perfect accessory!
Let’s take a look at the bags!
LV Classics Get An Ancient Greek Makeover
What would a Louis Vuitton show be without cult classic bags reimagined in new patterns, materials and colorways? For Vuitton’s latest show, models walk the runway carrying LV favorites the Petite Malle, Alma, Keepall and Dauphine bags but with an ancient Greek twist.
Designs combine the house’s classic bag silhouettes, Fornasetti’s ancient sculpture motifs and, of course, LV’s famous Monogram. The classic Monogram pattern on the Alma and Dauphine bags is adorned with colorful headshots of ancient style sculptures and coins and trimmed with black leather. New and multihued, yet an intrinsically classic look.
The heads of sculptures appear on a Keepall Bandoulière and Petite Malle against a gold background with a Monogram canvas trim. Notice the metallic hues, celebrated artwork and classic LV Monogram. Any one of these is set to make a purse pop but all three make for some unforgettable bags.
The Speedy is notably missing from the showcase of classics for Louis Vuitton’s fall 2021 handbag offerings. Of course it may still appear. Wouldn’t you love to see a Monogram Speedy adorned with multi hued sculpture details? Nevertheless, we can’t complain since, over the years, many artists have used the Speedy as their canvas.
Fresh Designs For Fall
Like Spring 2021, the fall collection boasts an equally impressive selection of fresh styles. A new structured top handle bag grabbed our attention. In monogram canvas with a black leather trim, the structured square-shaped flap bag is ultra sophisticated. The design sports Louis Vuitton’s classic trunk details like the S-lock closure and studded wooden panels. The overall look of the bag reminds us more of the Hermès Kelly than Vuitton’s other top handle designs like the Pochette Métis.
Is that a future ‘It’ bag we see? Potentially! While the House frequently reimagines its Monogram print in varying colors and proportions, this season, the Damier print is getting the attention. A giant version of the popular pattern appears on a boxy, yet unstructured, bag complete with a gold-tone chain carry option. Named the Troca, the bag features embroidered Damier quilt leather. The new design pops up on the runway in black, a muted baby blue and the shade of the classic Damier Ebene print. Louis Vuitton’s enlarged version of its Monogram print has been a huge success since its release in 2019 so it’s no surprise the Damier print is being given the colossal treatment.
It’s unclear whether the chain strap is made for shoulder or crossbody carry but, either way, one of Vuitton’s thick embossed straps would make a perfect addition to the bag. The shape and structure of the bag remind us of the new Dior Caro which debuted in Dior’s Resort 2021 show. However, the S-lock closure provides classic LV allure and when held as a clutch looks akin to a large, cushy version of the Petite Malle.
Hurrah, the large tote is back! Big bags are showing up in full force this season which is a plus for those who have grown tired of cramming their belongings into a bag the size of a Post-it Note. Embracing the bigger is better motto, Ghesquière sends several large totes down the runway. The bags sport an extra wide opening, almost resembling a bucket bag style. The design features a leather tab closure and pop out zipped pockets on the front of the bag, somewhat reminiscent of LV’s Manhattan bag, designed by then creative director Marc Jacobs in the early ‘00s. On this new design the leather tab closure is secured with a signature LV padlock.
The bag features on the runway in an array of different colors and materials, including an olive brown canvas-looking material with black croc pockets and an orange-toned copper color canvas-looking material with brown croc pockets.
Another new bag share a similar silhouette to the aforementioned design. However, it’s more akin to Gucci’s famous Jackie bag which relaunched late last year. Like the above bag, this design includes a leather tab closure secured with a padlock. The style features zips on either side to widen the bag. Small LV Monogram motifs are lined as studs on the bag, similar to some designs on the Spring 2021 runway.
The bag appears in differing sizes and materials. One standout is croc in dazzling shades of blue and violet, which against the heavy gold-tone hardware looks sublime. More neutral colors of the bag feature in the collection. A larger size of the design has an assortment of pop out zipped pockets on the front so it resembles the other new tote.
The bag is beautiful and will assuredly have Vuitton lovers scrambling at the chance to own one. But we can’t help thinking that it looks just a tad too similar to the Gucci Jackie. With the Jackie being so iconic, the comparison may be hard to shake.
Art So Cool You Can Wear It Crossbody
A crossbody bag so exquisite it belongs in a gallery, yes please! The Louis Vuitton x Fornasetti capsule collection takes this idea and runs with it. Models wear crossbody bags replicating ancient sculptures and coins. But, in classic LV fashion, the bags feature Monogram canvas detailing. Some of the designs appear with chunky crossbody straps with buckles, while others feature thinner straps and gold-tone chains.
Fornasetti is known for playing with shapes and turning everyday objects into art. Interestingly, this collaboration does the reverse, transforming celebrated artwork and ancient artifacts into wearable designs. Carrying a part of history as an accessory … we’re here for it!
Remember Virgil Abloh’s skyscraper jackets from LV’s Fall 2021 menswear collection? The womenswear collection echoes this theme. House classics like the Petite Malle and Noé bags feature prints of Fornasetti-drawn historic building exteriors. These bags have Monogram trim, of course, and black leather detailing. A selection of flat hand-held pouches also sport a similar print.
A. Spherical. Trunk?!
It doesn’t get more classic LV than a Louis Vuitton trunk. While you may think you’ve seen all the possible variations of this iconic Vuitton piece, the latest may shock you. When Monsieur Louis Vuitton himself first started off in the trunk-making business, trunks had rounded tops designed that way so rain could trickle off. However, in 1858 Vuitton was a trunk revolutionary. He released the first design with a flat top and bottom so it could be stacked. And the rest is history.
But, not so fast. Now, Ghesquière debuts a spherical Monogram trunk on the Fall 2021 runway. While Vuitton probably didn’t imagine that his trunk would be reinterpreted in this shape over 160 years later, who doesn’t love a rule-defying design?
What do you think of the bags from the collection? Are you a fan of the Louis Vuitton x Fornasetti capsule? Let us know.