Impact was imminent from the final show of the Autumn/Winter 2018 season, Louis Vuitton, and for this, designer Nicolas Ghesquière surpassed himself in his quest to cast all the enchanting nooks the historic Louvre has to offer as the backdrop for his shows. For this season, it was the rarely-used Lefuel courtyard – built by Napoleon III in the 1850s for the passage of his horses – exquisitely impressive in of itself, but, doubling down on the drama, there was what appeared to be a landing pad for a giant intergalactic spacecraft at one end of the ramps.
A trompe l'oeil effect worked on many levels here, not only in what seemed like a runway that journeyed into infinity and beyond, but also in the somewhat surreal proximity of historic past and Space-Age future infused into the fabric of the show. This is, in part, a continuation for Ghesquière from last season's time travel – case in point, those Louis XV frock coats paired with sneakers and running shorts – but for Autumn/Winter 2018, despite the setting, the collection erred more towards a sense of quintessential elegance, toying with the notion of staples but given an off-kilter edge. Classic silhouettes took on unexpected details, from corset waists, epaulettes, metal chains, fringing and beadwork, while spliced sweaters in part sequin, part Space Age, and gold button slip dresses over knitwear added to the hybridisation trend that’s emerging as a key concept from the season.
One glove, sometimes opera, sometimes driving, was worn to grip the season's new crop of covetable LV bags, replete with motherboard circuitry prints on large totes and flat envelope pouches, while heavy metals and holographic elements took their place next to more classic finishes and hardware.
A collection that resisted the temptation to journey too literally into the Sci-Fi remit – despite the designer's fan-boy admissions (who could forget last season's Stranger Things tee?) – it was, in fact, a line-up infused with an innate wearability, an effortlessness so integral, it wooed us back down to earth.