There has been some sparkling jacket action in Paris, including at Louis Vuitton, where Nicolas Ghesquiere debuted his most woman-friendly collection to date. Lucky Brigitte Macron, who will doubtless avail herself of his many chic knee-length skirts (after shortening them by five centimetres) and mix and match jackets.
When all around are producing maxis, midis or minis, the bon chic bon genre option can look almost radical, at least in a fashion context. Slightly transgressive ground is a place Ghesquiere is comfortable occupying. The bourgeois- transgressive is something new for him, but judging from this outing, the new direction could prove fruitful.
The skirts came in glossy leathers, tweeds and checked wools and were trimmed with buttons, gold latticework or skinny chain belts and worn with neat, boxy jackets and block high heels that – because this is Vuitton and Ghesquiere has a penchant for them - came with little foot harnesses.
Ghesquiere has sometimes been criticised for designing clothes in the abstract, in stiff, unyielding fabrics for a small coterie of women. But here was a wardrobe of soft, loosely fitted silk dresses, pleated skirts, shrug-on sheepskin and teddy-bear coats, yoked blouses, and contoured jackets with broad appeal.
It wasn’t so much a rejection of his previous biker-chic aesthetic as a grown-up progression– a projection of what that woman might look like in a multi-dimensional life. Those biker trousers are now classic and slim but not skinny. The bustiers and harnesses that have featured in recent collections have now morphed into tailored houndstooth or cream coloured corsets that slipped comfortably over crew neck sweaters, an option that could appeal to the woman who wants to be sexy as well as fashion-forward.
On this evidence, Ghesquiere seems happy to tap into a real woman’s life. Even glitzy red-carpet looks such as his sapphire-sequinned trousers had a more relaxed feel than we’ve come to expect. The round band-box bags had a softer edge too. Ruth Negga, Catherine Deneuve, Michelle Williams and Sienna Miller, all of whom have served time in challenging red carpet outfits, stood to applaud at the end. Was that relief on their faces?