Fashion’s most stylish and innovative houses are moving forward from a tough 2020, imagining brighter futures. News of collaborations, programs and collections that will kick off the new year are flowing in. Chic labels around the globe are putting their best foot forward with new projects in new areas of the industry, attempting to engage shoppers in new and exciting ways.
Creativity and craftsmanship seem to be a growing theme with fashion favorites. It is more important that ever for brands to set themselves apart.
Vuitton’s Sneaker Attack
Louis Vuitton has officially moved into the world of skate culture. Collaborating with Jamaican born, London-based skateboarder Lucien Clarke, LV has launched its first legitimate skate shoe. Inspired by Vuitton men’s artistic director Virgil Abloh’s sense of streetwear and designed by Clarke, A View is constructed from technical textiles and calf leather and makes use of technical foam and polyurethane sole cushioning.
Designed to ride, the sneaker will likely see more foot than board traffic, as it carries a $1,190 price tag, quite a bit for a shoe in a sport where riders are notorious for (unintentionally) destroying their gear. Skateboarding is a contact sport, and while these kicks can withstand some punishment, those investing in nearly $2,000 sneakers are likely to be a little more careful.
The launch comes at a time when skateboarding has veered far from the ‘fringe’ and moved towards the mainstream. Once strictly the domain of counterculture, streetwear, popularized by Supreme and brands of its ilk, is now thoroughly mainstream, and LV’s latest launch is further testimony to this. Abloh has broadly capitalized on the movement, leading Vuitton’s exploration of technical fabrics and multi-use outdoor wear with street sensibilities in its latest collections.
A View is available in three colorways, black and orange, white and orange and blue. Each features Clarke’s signature along with clear sole and gradiated coloring. Moving forward, the market, which remains the ultimate judge, will determine the sneaker’s fate.
Will it be accepted among the hard core skate community, and does it even need to be? One thing is certain, LV’s latest street/skate collaboration has caused quite a stir among those who follow fashion and streetwear.
Chanel at the Château
Chanel launched its newest Métiers d’Art collection this month. Begun in 2002, the Métiers collections celebrate the artisanal processes at the heart of high fashion while linking a destination — real or imagined — with Chanel and its history. This year’s Métiers runway show took place at Château de Chenonceau, a famed Renaissance castle in the Loire Valley that was once residence to Catherine de Medici, whose emblem was a monogram of two twisted C’s.
Talk about a fitting setting for a Chanel show. Virginie Viard, artistic director of fashion, took inspiration from the historical setting and the castle itself.
The runway show took place in the grand gallery, with the black-and-white checkerboard floor serving as the inspiration for a number of pieces, such as sequined miniskirts and a black-and-white jacquard sweater. Warm hues from the castle’s tapestries influenced a tweed cape, while flowers from the gardens appear on the lapel of a jacket.
“I like everything to be mixed up, all the different eras, between the Renaissance and romanticism, between rock and something very girly — it is all very Chanel,” Virad says, summing it up nicely.
ROOM to Grow
Portuguese label ROOM, launched in 2016 by Simone Nunes, was founded on the idea of deconstructing elements from home design and blending them with fashion. Its statement piece, the Pillow Sandal is having a major moment. The chic sandal perfectly encapsulates the brand’s eco-friendly ethos.
The fluffy pillow-shaped leather straps evoke modernist furniture, while the design allows the sandal to be made with any type of leather, and replaceable soles mean they last a lifetime.
Music enlivens the scenography at every Dior fashion show, creating a singular melodic signature, a vector for intense emotion. To let you plunge into their unique atmospheres of Dior’s shows, its hypnotic rhythms and its positive energy, the House is unveiling two Spotify playlists. These are composed of tracks that punctuated the women’s and men’s shows – compiled by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Kim Jones respectively. An exclusive artistic journey for escaping, dancing and dreaming is now attainable for anyone who wants to experience the wonders of these creative fashion presentations.
Dior has always created a new series of podcasts called Dior Tales. It features fabulous stories told to children – in French and English – by Baby Dior creative director Cordelia de Castellane. Dior has made it a priority to delight and engage its loyal following by intertwining fashion and art. The series of virtual ballet lessons the fashion house released earlier this year was a testament to that initiative.
Discover wonder tales written by de Castellane, including two volumes inspired by the passionate – and exciting – life of the founding couturier, as well as L’Extraordinaire Voyage de Monsieur Dior (Monsieur Dior’s Extraordinary Journey), a dreamlike odyssey around the world and must in children’s literature, La Petite Poucette (Thumbelina) – based on the original story by Hans Christian Andersen – whisks young and old alike on adventures in the heart of Nature. Dior creatively brings singular, captivating tales that transport the imagination to the land of dreams.