Latest: Nicolas Ghesquière marks Louis Vuitton with powerhouse show in Paris

Ten years to the day after his first show for Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière celebrated a remarkable anniversary in the same Paris landmark where he made his debut. In the ruthless spit-em-out churn of fashion, and in the eye of that storm as the designer of the biggest brand of all, Ghesquière’s is quite the run.

A vast futuristic greenhouse lit from within with 13 vast globe-shaped chandeliers – Louis Vuitton, travel, get it? – filled an entire quadrangle of the Louvre, rising almost to the mansard roof of the museum.

The 4,000 guests – a capacity doubled for the season by the inclusion of 2,000 Louis Vuitton employees – were each greeted with a typewritten note in which Ghesquière recalled the “immense joy” he had felt 10 years ago. A few guests with deep wardrobes wore archive pieces from that first collection, which were much sighed over on the front row. On the last day of Paris fashion week, nostalgia was in the air.

The Louis Vuitton show at the Louvre in Paris. Photograph: Stéphanie Lecocq/Reuters

But then the show started and the mood changed. This was no testimonial match; it felt more like a title challenge.

At Louis Vuitton, and before that at Balenciaga, Ghesquière has created his own distinctive fashion language that fuses opulence with futurism, which sounds unlikely to work but somehow always does, and which looks as on-point now as it did a decade ago.

Metallic-embroidered jackets with frock coat cutaways cut a clean silhouette worn with flat brogues, tab-collar biker jackets balanced bubble skirts. The pencil grey tailoring was charming, the paillette dresses sparkled, furry paw mittens lobbed in a dollop of the unexpected.

There were handbags styled like miniature vintage trunks, scratched and dented. This was Ghesquière reminding Paris fashion that although he has never had a label in his own name, his is one of the names that have shaped modern dress.

Also striking was what didn’t happen. There were no gimmicks. No pop star parachuted on to the catwalk. There were no food trucks or rollerskating waitresses. Just a fashion show for Brigitte Macron, Emma Stone, Cate Blanchett and 3,997 others.

Designer Nicolas Ghesquière acknowledges the applause of the audience during the Louis Vuitton show. Photograph: Marc Piasecki/WireImage

There is a purity to Ghesquière, still a creative director who designs clothes, rather than a creative director slash entertainment mogul. All the drama is in the cut of a jacket. However, a few newfangled ideas wouldn’t go amiss: frustratingly, a decade of body diversity has yet to hit the Louis Vuitton catwalk.

Last year Louis Vuitton became the first brand to surpass €20bn(£17bn) in sales.

Louis Vuitton, like Prada, is a fashion house that began as a luggage maker. But unlike Prada, Louis Vuitton has kept the fancy luggage as a key part of its identity, and this has proved a wise move.

Fashion purists sniffed that a suitcase brand could never be taken seriously as a name in Paris fashion, but as fashion, lifestyle and entertainment have merged into one powerhouse platform, being associated with glamorous travel has helped fuel Louis Vuitton’s success.

On the prestige resale site Vestiaire Collective, Louis Vuitton is the most successful accessory brand, selling 10% faster than other bags. The appointment of Pharrell Williams last year as creative director of menswear confirmed that if Paris is the Hollywood of fashion, Louis Vuitton is the biggest superhero franchise in town.

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