Nicholas Ghesquiére said he was inspired by technology for his latest collection at Louis Vuitton, but the clothes themselves took us not to the future but to the early days of the internet, when AOL was still sending out trash-filler CD-Roms and Hot Topic hawked metal lunchbox purses with Emily the Strange sneering out from them.

With the ‘90s obsession seemingly never-ending, it was only a matter of time before a designer mined the particularly verdant era’s later years, as seen for Spring in zippered pants, reflective textiles and, of course, lunchbox purses. In this Vogue video, Ghesquiére references “the digital world,” but again, the light bondage references on pinstripes are more of a Matrix epoch than the one we know today—either that or Nine Inch Nails’s and TLC’s second and third albums, respectively. (Left Eye back in the day would have loved this shit.)

Still, it’s not a total throwback—the way the light refracts off a bubble skirt, for instance, or the GoPro style headgear strapped to the pink-haired model in a matching moto jacket, or the way fringed pieces seemed to mimic fiberoptic cables. Other elements were confounding; on some of the purses the LV logo had been reworked to resemble barbed wire or a chain link fence, but also leather trenches with a different version of the logo and candy-striped sleeves were just plain unsightly, in a bad way, as though homage to Christian Audigier’s (RIP) busier pieces. (Perhaps it’s a fact of having grown up in America and more specifically a state where there are actual bikers, but I will never understand Europe’s ongoing fascination with what it perceives to be biker fashion. Go to Sturgis, get it out of your system, guys.)

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On the same day, life idol Iris van Herpen also showed a collection inspired by technology, but rather than interpreting it she used it, as she always does. Models wore shoes that weren’t platforms so much as columns, introducing fun new ways to break your ankle as well as the notion of footwear as architectural design. Most notably, Brienne of Tarth aka Gwendolyn Christie laid prone on a round table while a dress was literally knitted around her body, magnetic filaments coming together around her. And transparent sheaths with crystal baubles were both striking and odd and looked just like bubble wrap, maybe the packages that Vetements wanted to ship with its DHL shirt. (Perhaps said package was being shipped to Balenciaga.) It was characteristically otherworldly and by employing new technology as opposed to invoking it literally, she ended up with the most futuristic collection of all.


Contact the author at julianne@jezebel.com.

Images via Getty