February 19, 2016

it’s bold move, placing an animated character in a high fashion campaign, but there you go, final fantasy’s protagonist, lightning, was unveiled as louis vuitton’s model of choice earlier this year, and all over billboards and store fronts. unreal.

and it looks like the heroine reign isn’t over, not yet. you wouldn’t normally expect someone as quirky and anti-establishment as grimes to be modelling louis vuitton’s spring/summer collection, but as it happens, that’s now reality too. let’s just say we’ve suddenly way more interested in how this 162-year-old fashion house is re-inventing itself for the now, or, the future. by amelia tan

Maybe it’s the faded pink hair. You can’t help but to compare the two though – we’re talking about Lightning, the heroine of Final Fantasy XIII, and experimental musician, Grimes, also the cover girl in our previous issue. Unconventional and empowered, they both happen to be the faces of Louis Vuitton as well, which comes as a nice surprise. After all, you can say that they’re far removed from the likes of fellow muses Alicia Vikander and Jennifer Connelly.

It also helps that Grimes, or Claire Boucher, admits that she does have a bit of that ‘manga heroine’ in her sense of style (for reference, just watch her latest “Kill V Maim” music video). “It fluctuates, but ‘manga heroine is always a good vibe,” she says, which then brings us to her, rather unusual, association with Louis Vuitton. While known for classic designs, including the ubiquitous monogram that’s on every luxury bag you’ve seen, the fashion house seems eager to move into a different direction, especially with their recent cyber and anime-inspired collection.

We’ve got creative director Nicolas Ghesquière to thank for that. Under his vision, the world was privy to a Spring/Summer 2016 show that has all the elements of a futuristic sci-fi flick – it featured a virtual reality Oculus Rift unit, a computerised Minecraft voiceover, while NASA video projections played on in the backdrop. These touches are reflected in the actual collection, inspired by video game characters, with sleek leather jackets, cut-outs and zips in unusual places, as well as loose, layered skirts and heroine kilts, whose fabrics were expertly manipulated to look like pixels.

“I was thinking about this digital frontier, which I wanted to combine in harmony with the world of Louis Vuitton – the craft, the wardrobe. It’s an evocation of cyber, of what comes from digital – these characters or girls that are speaking to their generation,” he tells Dazed Digital.

So, it makes sense that Grimes, digital music manipulator and an embodiment of the new-age It-girl, after being in the front row at the Paris show, headed straight for a fashion shoot with the brand. As you can see from these exclusive images, we can’t think of a more ideal representative of the new Spring/Summer vibe.

Full interview, exclusive images, and more, in our latest #40 Pretty Hurts issue, out on newsstands!