“A modern marvel that will impress generations to come”, bellows the vintage promo Louis Vuitton’s creative director posted on his Instagram giving his followers the backstory of the chosen venue. Unbeknown to Nicolas Ghesquiere that his brush strokes from his “very French drawing room”, will be able to fall under that category as effortlessly as possible.
Everything that Nicolas Ghesquiere has bared to us previously seeped through the 2020 show. The belted silhouettes, short hyperbolic jackets, high-waist skirts, the snug hats and sunglasses combo – which we can’t help but imagine as a high fashion version of a leather flying hat.
Except this time, it was more structural, which did not take us by surprise. The creative director of the renowned fashion house has always been inspired by structures - his inspiration for Cruise 2016 was a Palm Springs estate owned by Bob and Dolores Hope.
Many of the Louis Vuitton venues chosen translate to an accolade of time, whether it was an illusory future or a commemorative history. The John Lautner house was considered futuristic at its time and the New York TWA Terminal was designed by neo-futurist architect Eero Saarinen. Cruise 2019 was held in the Foundation Maeght, a modern and contemporary museum where artist Joan Miró transformed “a walk through his mind” into a labyrinth installation in the garden, while Cruise 2018 was housed in Miho Musuem, both a religious haven and an exhibit holding Mihoko Koyama’s private collection of antiques. All these venues provide a flahsback from the past while mantaining today and tomorrow's modern needs.
At first sight, inklings of resilient, self-assured, fashion-forward women were geometrically drawn in fabric all over the models. But this isn’t about listing adjectives of what the looks make you feel, it’s a veracity anticipated by the designer himself. Ghesquiere has stated once that he is influenced by multiple women. It’s not exclusively the businesswoman or the nomad that this collection caters to, but a combination of both, perhaps.
The theatrics were there, provided by the ruffled jackets, tops, and overlapping patterns, but the realism was contemporaneous as well, driven by the geometric trench coats and serious suits. One for all and all for one, brought together by the two things; ingenuity and accessibility. Ingenuity because the collection initiated the old and the new, a reinvention on a canvas of endless possibilities as you can hail from any era in one of his asymmetrical skirts; the 1960s until the early 2000s. Accessibility, because which place in the world brings together people from all works of society? A place where all humankind get together and experience the same emotions regardless of who they are? An airport terminal.
Now, let’s get technical. Louis Vuitton Cruise 2020 collection had the same cape accents his first Cruise exhibit held. The chic-superhero vibe percolated through many looks, either paired with the overlapping slit skirts, knee-length pencil numbers, or straight-cut pants. Embellished bodysuits squared up to electric blue shorts, and astronaut attire found its way above the cropped bottoms as well. We couldn’t quite place our fingers on the exact year inspiration. Is that Brooke Shields in the 80s? Or Francoise Hardy from the 60s? We’ll leave that answer to who the wearer wants to channel that day.
New York City, the concrete city of dreams, was a palpable denominator as well. The Empire State and Chrysler buildings, Rockefeller center, the skyline of the city that never sleeps all meshed into the rugged metal feel of the metropolis manifested throught the dominant metallic grey colors. He juxtaposes concrete against dreams, two extremes, resulting in a collection full of stupendous “touristic clichés”, as Ghesquiere proclaims himself to be.
We’d describe this collection as an invented future with accents of the past projected through the lens of one of the most diverse cities in the world. The clothes cater to multiple women of the world where the fabric longs to be a part of their exciting life endeavors; Louis Vuitton Cruise 2020 was quite the airborne ride.