Setting the stage for an immersive, sartorial spectacle, Nicolas Ghesquière orchestrates a fantastical journey with the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2024 (Resort 2024) collection.
This grand narrative traverses Ghesquière’s creative sojourn, reflecting his affinity for spectacular architectural marvels that span from Palm Springs’ John Lautner house to Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute in San Diego. The latest Cruise show, however, beckons to a different narrative backdrop – the serene terraced gardens of Isola Bella, a precious gem of Lake Maggiore, shrouded in centuries of Borromeo family history.
The Cruise 2024 show celebrated Italy’s geographical grandeur, particularly the ethereal allure of its lakes. Nicolas Ghesquière expressed his inspiration vividly, “The lakes are mysterious, they hold a mystical charm. This collection reflects their allure“. The magnificent Isola Bella, embraced by the shadow of the Alps, presented an idyllic stage where tropical fruit trees bore witness to the latest resort collection. Although rain disrupted the open-air sunset show, it didn’t dampen Ghesquière’s vision, instead enhancing the dreamlike ambiance.
At the heart of this grand narrative was the aquatic romance of Lake Maggiore, with Ghesquière artfully translating the aquatic aesthetics into his design philosophy. “We envisioned the models as mermaids emerging from the lake, transitioning, evolving“, he revealed, seamlessly weaving together various design elements into an otherworldly tableau. Sci-fi fantasy intertwined with the magic of folklore, creating a collection that transcended boundaries, akin to Ghesquière’s creative spirit that thrives beyond Paris’ confines.
The collection debuted with a dramatic nod to the depths of the lake – scuba gear adorned with fin-like collars and crystalline embellishments simulating water droplets. Diving jackets intricately printed hinted at a hidden aquatic world, while an elegant juxtaposition of neoprene tank suits with regal robes, mermaid-scale sequin skirts with naval jackets, and baroque headpieces bespoke a meticulous craftsmanship – an ode to Italy’s legacy of artisanal excellence.
As the aquatic narrative transitioned onto the terra firma, Ghesquière drew inspiration from the urban dynamics of Seoul, exhibiting street-ready, sporty-glam silhouettes – casual wear was transformed with luxurious fabrics and intricate details. Soft-hued brushed cashmere sweaters, embroidered lace button-downs and jeans, and brocade coats over sequined floral dresses – all echoed the designer’s artistic interpretation of the island’s flora. “The mermaid metamorphoses into a flower, a flower from a realm of imagination”, Ghesquière mused.
This transition resulted in a collection of long dresses in pastel shades, a notable departure from Ghesquière’s typical approach at LV. These gowns embodied a harmonious duality – delicacy and boldness – constructed from a medley of silk, georgette, organza, and lace, their sculptural, swingy hems swaying with every stride. The collection culminated with couture-level capes embellished with water droplet beading and damask jackets featuring legendary creatures, celebrating the whimsical luxury that is uniquely Louis Vuitton.
As the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2024 collection showcased, there’s no need for mysterious lakes when one has the power of imagination. The show was a captivating testimony to Ghesquière’s creative prowess, effectively transporting us into a realm where fashion morphs into art, making a compelling case for a bold and enchanting form of luxury.