Louis Vuitton Resort 2016 Collection: Desert Flower

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Palm Springs, with its casual, Southern California ease, is almost the last place you would expect the quietly reflective (and quintessentially French) Nicholas Ghesquière to show his newest collection for Louis Vuitton. But lo and behold, out poured his rhapsodic, simultaneously modern and retro, era-referencing Resort ’16 collection for the house at the Bob Hope Estate, an architectural gem that served as the ideal venue. Desert glam was in full force!

So were plenty of new bag shapes, unusual for a Resort collection but for a house that was built upon bags, a fact that makes perfect sense. They run the gamut from squarely structured top-handle totes, petite clutches with studded and quilted texture, easy backpacks (one classically monogrammed) and the bag that’s become the brand’s quintessential piece all over again, the trunk, reimagined yet again in gutsy prints and a spectrum of sizes.

As for the ready-to-wear, Ghesquière’s astute way with fabrication, construction, and technology is ever at play, evident through the seemingly lax crosshatching of a woven sheath, the multi-textural dresses, cropped bomber jackets, and printed panels of the multiple pairs of hot pants (which seem fitting of semi-tragic Iris of Taxi Driver for a ready ’70s reference). But it’s the maxi dress that’s the star of the collection – and likely the season! Flowing yet cinched with hourglass shape-inducing belts, accentuated with broad leather accents, cut out to reveal a bit of midriff flesh, or zippered down the front for modern edge, they avoid any superfluous volume and have style to spare. Unlike say, Saint Laurent’s randy nightcrawler of recent seasons, Louis Vuitton’s newly revitalized girl is not dressing for the spectacle (or to be part of the spectacle). By layering her deep-plunging camisoles over collared shirts and finishing her luxe apparel with chunky flip-flops, she’s announcing her clothes – and the confidence it takes to pull them off – are her thrill, and those alone. And no big surprise: I’m thrilled right along with her.

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