Louis Vuitton x Fornasetti: Experimental Traditionalism

Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Italian design atelier Fornasetti is a visionary delight marrying art, tradition and innovative creativity.

Art and fashion have a curious relationship, intertwined in more ways than one. Often, enriching each other as the worlds collide. For A/W ’21 Nicolas Ghesquière dives into the world of Italian designer atelier Fornasetti to create an intriguing world of imagery imbued with futurism. Exploring the creative wealth and archive of the renowned artist and designer Piero Fornasetti, the collaboration sees Fornasetti’s iconic hand-drawn Greco-Roman artworks come alive amongst the impressive backdrop of the Michelangelo and Daru Galleries in the Lourve.

Fornasetti archive illustrations.

“Exploring the Fornasetti archives had the excitement of an archaeological dig,” says Ghesquière candidly. “With this collaboration, I wanted to use the pieces to evoke the continuing modernity of Fornasetti’s artistic world,” he continues. The collaboration was a time-travelling journey of sorts—serving as a bridge that connected past, present and future, and right at its axis was Ghesquière “searching for and finding drawings from the past to give them a new life for Louis Vuitton”. The culmination of the journey took shape in futuristic designs that toured the Gallery’s grounds housing remarkable Greek, Etruscan and Roman sculptures—silent and proud as the modern goddesses flew by in arresting confidence.

Specific themes and artworks from Fornasetti’s rich archive (spanning 13000 pieces) were selected by Nicolas Ghesquière together with Barnaba Fornasetti, Artistic Director of the Fornasetti atelier, and their teams. “My father was an innovator who believed in the handmade, just like Louis Vuitton,” says Barnaba Fornasetti, son of Piero Fornasetti. “Our vision has always been to bring Fornasetti’s unique artistic imagination to people through beautifully crafted objects, and this rewarding collaboration represents a new opportunity to expand and explore its visual creativity,” he explains even further.

Fornasetti archive illustrations.

A rich combination of enticing colours and textures were utilised to bring the collection to life, in addition to marrying traditional techniques with cutting edge technology such as laser printing. Amongst its wide list of whimsical ready-to-wear, the stars of the collection include colourful velvet and mohair dresses, shiny printed jersey tops and oversized outerwear pieces to name a few. All of which feature Fornasetti’s distinctive illustrations of ancient statues and otherworldly prints. Whimsical accessories that draw on Fornasetti’s inimitable motifs such as locks, keys and portraits offer a wholesome finish to the collaboration. Accessories to note include a reimagined Cannes bag and the iconic Capucines, both embellished with Fornasetti’s monochrome architectural drawing. Louis Vuitton aficionados will also be delighted to find other House favourites such as the Petite Malle and Keepall amongst the collection’s list of fine offerings.

Together, the Louis Vuitton x Fornasetti collaboration personifies the Houses’ modern yet timeless ideals, cemented through bold looks and contemporary silhouettes. Embracing tradition with a futuristic approach, the collection weaves Fornasetti’s magical and visionary depiction of the world with Louis Vuitton’s forward-thinking creativity and craft to resounding effect.

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Petite Malle




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