I wasn’t sure whether it was the passionate crimson red of the flag-like fluttering silk skirt or the military boots, but as my eyes cascaded down the strict-masked marching figures, I could feel the shiver of a soldier preparing for battle. I supposed the Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2016-17 collection has more to do with female dynamism, rather than with arms in the literal sense of the word, so bearing that in mind I was instantly more at peace with the concept.
Designer Nicolas Ghesquière smartly selected women from 3 basic ethnic backgrounds alluding to their culture’s traditional warrior uniforms mixed with feminine elements of sexual role models of the past – such as the Amazons -, which at the same time pointed out the complexity of cultural identity in the modern world of femininity. An Eastern European-looking Caucasian wearing Native-American-like arrow-striped jackets and a chocolate-skinned model presenting a short-sleeved Geisha-like patterned top seemed controversial and yet perfectly fitting in today’s society.
The commandingly flirtatious models were carrying handbags in animal prints of the jungle or the tundra and were dressed in Samourai-inspired lines, stiff armor-like tops which accentuated the hips, revealing Queen Hyppolyta bustiers – a style also cherished by Jean-Paul Gaultier yet in a much more vintage manner -, oversized furry Kazakh hats, and dark exuberantly shiny leather jackets and pants. It all created a strong primitive and lustful effect. The message was clear: Lock and load! A masculine empowering call for female confidence.
There are no distinct lines as to gender or nationality anymore, so why struggle to attribute tags to individuals and define what is allowed to be considered attractive or not? All is fair in love and war. Even more so, in the battlefield of Louis Vuitton.