Designer Louis-Gabriel Nouchi’s fall 2019 collection needed a bit of explaining. What was the link between silver lamé outerwear, boiler suits and safety jackets, pentagram prints and oversize plaid?
It turns out the inspiration for the collection was a mix between Norman Mailer’s 1983 novel “Ancient Evenings” about reincarnation within Egyptian spirituality and the film “River of Fundament,” directed by Matthew Barney, which took Mailer’s concept and applied it to the fall of the automobile industry in Detroit.
“Choosing an Egyptian theme can be quite complicated because there is always the risk of it looking like a costume,” Nouchi said. It was all in the details: A belt buckle was shaped like a beetle, a key Egyptian symbol, while the stars referenced decorations on ancient tombs and a leopard-print skirt was a reinterpretation of a pharaoh’s wardrobe.
Mixed with workwear, the effect was puzzling. The safety jackets worn over tailoring looked a bit out of place.
Backstage, some pieces were more impressive close up. A sweater was created via a technique allowing the knit to alternate between two different kinds of thread, creating a pattern directly in the garment design. Two knitted suits, while a lot quieter on the runway than the silver lamé and high-visibility details, begged to be touched. There was promise in LGN’s second runway show, but you needed to look for it.