Nicolas Ghesquière is something of an aesthetic archaeologist, mining myth and history in his designs for Louis Vuitton’s womenswear collections. His enthusiastic interest in the concept of time even extended to his maison’s support of the 2020 ‘About Time: Fashion and Duration’ exhibiton at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which charted how sartorial associations across the years have transcended time to conflate the past, present and future. The show was designed by Es Devlin, who has collaborated with Ghesquière on almost all of his runway shows for Louis Vuitton’s womenswear collections, and featured two enormous clock faces ticking away the minutes in two adjacent galleries.

Ghesquière’s time-travelling approach was particularly prescient in his A/W 2021 collection for the French maison, which drew on antiquated objects and sculptures. Presented in Paris at the Louvre’s Denon wing, the catwalk show saw models intermingle with ancient Roman, Greek and Etruscan sculptures.

Louis Vuitton x Fornasetti: an archaelogical dig through the Italian design giant’s archives

+J Uniqlo collection black anorak

‘Pochette Tête’ bag, £1,870, by Louis Vuitton

Ghesquière was also drawn to the history of Fornasetti, digging into the Milanese design giant’s archives in order to source motifs idiosyncratic to the brand, ranging from architectural sketches and cameo portraits to antique coins and keys. The result is a collaborative collection of striking trompe l’oeil pieces, which encompasses ready-to-wear and accessories, collaged to pop-art effect with heritage Fornasetti designs.

Supple leather is reimagined as stone and Louis Vuitton’s signature ‘Capucines’ bag is printed with sketches of an Italianate edifice or a tessellation of worn classical busts. Fornasetti’s archival images are also complemented with motifs emblematic of the Louis Vuitton maison, including the ‘LV’ monogram.

This Louis Vuitton x Fornasetti collection fuses myth with modernity and fragments of the past with the future, a century-spanning collaboration that will allow you to sport a sliver of history wherever you stroll. §