Overnight, Nicolas Ghesquière and Louis Vuitton landed at the TWA Flight Center, the iconic terminal inside New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, for a Cruise show that was nothing short of a touchdown. Part Blade Runner; part Back To The Future; part Mad Max; a kind of dystopian fashion fantasy played out for the likes of Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett and Alicia Vikander, where the exaltation of departure and journey was celebrated. But why JFK? The dialogue between Paris and New York is a long-running conversation for Louis Vuitton. It was a starting point for Ghesquière; the trans-Atlantic crossings like a stylistic to and fro for the House. So what better place to stage this sartorial exchange than the world’s most cinematic city. Recalling the brilliant light that rises from New York City’s Downtown to Uptown; sophisticated prints, clever embroideries, intricate embellishment and dazzling brocade unfolded in classic monochrome and acid colour, a kind of brilliant mash-up of the emotion and story that comes with travel.
Just as the fashion rose to the occasion, beauty, too, was extraordinary. Pat McGrath, the beauty queen of unrestrained glamour, articulated swoops of pink rouge that would make Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust blush. Working a shade of shocking pink well beyond the apple of cheek and above the brow bone, McGrath buffed Rose Risqué from her La Vie En Rose Palette into model skin for a bold stamp of pink. Lips were painted with MatteTrance Lipstick in Forbidden Love, a rich cherry red, while eyes were smudged out with dramatic wings to reveal a makeup look rife in 80s nostalgia.
While hair flitted between helmet head chic and sculptural retro fuzz, as hairstylist Duffy crimped, coaxed and gelled hair with both elaborate height and texture. “This season, there was a real Blade Runner element,” he told Vogue US, paying homage to Rachael’s ‘do from the 1982 sci-fi thriller. “It’s Victorian meets neo-punk with the flamboyance of the ’80s,” he continued. There were modern French rolls, wiry texture, coils, crimps and razored ends; a raucous chorus of old meets new. And the perfect way to reinvent something is to leave it a little ambiguous. “There’s something wonderful about looks that feel referential, but you can’t quite put your finger on what they’re supposed to be.” The unknown has never looked so good.