Louis Vuitton has tapped an all-star cast for its pre-fall look book, cementing a growing trend for pre-collections — traditionally viewed as commercial filler between runway shows — to act as major communications platforms for luxury brands.
Having staged a celebrity-laden cruise show in the South of France in May, creative director Nicolas Ghesquière showcased his pre-fall looks on 17 personalities covering a broad generational swathe, with stars recruited from highbrow Oscar-winning movies and hit TV shows.
“These women embrace the various personalities that embody fashion at Louis Vuitton. Be they stars or new faces, all of them share the same willpower and confidence in their choices, and at the same time, reflect the eclecticism of the female identity,” he said in a statement.
Among his most surprising choices is transgender actress Indya Moore, one of the breakout stars of Ryan Murphy’s acclaimed series “Pose,” which was nominated for best television series in the drama category at the recent Golden Globes.
Gender ambiguity has played a growing role in Ghesquière’s aesthetic lately — the designer’s spring 2019 runway featured transgender and androgynous models Krow and Jessica “Jay” Espinosa, among others.
Moore joins friends of the brand such as Jennifer Connelly, Michelle Williams, Léa Seydoux, Alicia Vikander, Ruth Negga, Laura Harrier, Riley Keough, Sophie Turner and Doona Bae, who have all previously starred in Vuitton campaigns. In fact, only Emma Stone was missing from the lineup.
Also on board for the pre-fall extravaganza were Chloë Grace Moretz; “Westworld” star Thandie Newton; Kelsey Asbille, who has played in teenage sitcoms including “Teen Wolf” and “Pair of Kings,” and R&B singer Kelela, whose prior fashion credits include a Calvin Klein campaign.
Rounding off the list were Australian actress Samara Weaving, who appeared in the Amazon miniseries “Picnic at Hanging Rock”; Zhong Chuxi, known for her role in the Chinese coming-of-age movie “Youth,” and Thai actress and model Urassaya “Yaya” Sperbund, who stars in the TV series “The Crown Princess.”
The images, shot by Collier Schorr and styled by Marie-Amélie Sauvé, each feature the name of the model printed on the bottom, in a nod to actors’ composite cards.
With so much star wattage on display, the clothes inevitably played second fiddle, though there was enough variety in the lineup that each model ended up with a distinctive identity. Their hair slicked back or styled into Veronica Lake waves, they posed in an array of floral, checked and animal patterns in a palette of forest tones.
Moore, sporting full red lips, channeled an aristocratic vibe in a clashing floral-patterned bomber jacket, tunic and pussy-bow blouse worn with black pants. Moretz rocked a deconstructed quiff and a smoky eye that echoed the insets of black lace on her edgy dark floral-printed dress.
“Nicolas is a visionary that allows you to find your own identity within each piece you wear of his. And you can find new facets of your personality within his designs,” Moretz noted.
True to her reputation as a fashion risk-taker, Connelly — who is due to start shooting the “Top Gun” sequel “Maverick” this spring — wore a white floral-print puff-sleeved capelet blouse and matching pants, accessorized with a Monogram Duffle bucket bag and pointy brown boots with bulging heels.
Ghesquière toyed with proportion, dressing Williams in an oversize tartan print vest with leopard-print cycling shorts. For Bae, he opted for a sophisticated punk vibe, layering a checked boyfriend sweater over an animal-print pleated skirt and flared black pants.
The cocoon shapes, historical references and Space Age echoes were hardly new territory for Ghesquière, though he added an unfamiliar dash of country chic with cozy plaid skirts and coats.
And Vuitton is not the first brand to showcase a collection on celebrities: Kirsten Dunst confirmed her pregnancy by posing in the fall 2018 Rodarte look book, which also featured Kim Gordon and Grimes, while Acne Studios tapped Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie to model its 2017 pre-fall line.
Expect those efforts to be eclipsed by the sheer firepower of the world’s biggest luxury brand, whose front rows typically groan with Hollywood talent. Landing in the middle of awards season, Ghesquière’s latest celeb-fest read like a statement of intent. Next stop, an Oscars-night sweep?