What is it about French girl fashion that makes the inimitable aesthetic so covetable?
It’s been the subject of countless TikTok dissertations, online essays and hot takes all trying to whittle down the je ne sais quoi of French women into a few easily replicable tropes—the unpretentious high-low manner in which they dress, the chic, tailored essentials which never seem to go out of fashion, and most importantly, their penchant for sensual hair and a red lip.
Now, at Louis Vuitton’s Fall/Winter 2023 collection presentation, creative director Nicolas Ghesquière is musing on the notion of the very innate quality of French style.
“The question itself an enigma, kindling endless fascination,” the brand argued in a post-show statement.
If we were to apply a philosophical lens to this innately ‘LV’ collection, we’d argue that the luxury label is intrinsically French purely because the maison is French, the designer himself is French, the locale in which the collection is shown is France and the Louis Vuitton customer wants to own a part of something that is unequivocally French.
So, over 44 looks, Ghesquière attempts to find the foundations of the house. Not in the stereotypes in which the cultural zeitgeist has perpetuated as ‘French’, but rather the inherent qualities and savoir faire that makes Louis Vuitton a luxury powerhouse.
The collection highlighted and delicately subverted what makes French womenswear desirable: polished, chic, sensual and timeless.
The first half of the collection revelled in the quintessential French tailored essentials, like a cinched blazer, undone waistcoat or even a scratch white dickie playfully layered over a white shirt dress.
Later, we see Ghesquière become more experimental, prominently leaning into the moto-aesthetic that has defined street style for the last two seasons, and tampering with the notion of shape and construct.
Here, silhouettes are ballooned with exaggerated sleeves, pronounced and protruding bustiers, and voluminous trench coats. Even the idea of how a French girl layers for cool weather found itself sartorially explored.
The answer: you pair a mohair jumpsuit with a trompe-l’œil sheer midi skirt and a knitted scarf. Très chic , no?
But really it was Ghesquière’s ability to assemble some of the most prolific members of the celebrity style set in the front row that really demonstrated the beauty of French fashion.
To be French is to exude an “ineffable magnetism that intrudes the world”, as Louis Vuitton put it, so what better way to elaborate on this notion than dressing some of the most-followed stylish stars in head-to-toe LV.
From Zendaya in her Betty Cotroux inspired tiger-print blazer and hot pants to Australian darling Samara Weaving opting for a padded-esque leather blazer and matching skirt, the label is firm in their resolve: “The French touch never fails to captivate”.