May 13, 2017
• Nicolas Ghesquière will go a long way for an impressive architectural setting. After making the trek to Palm Springs to use Bob Hope’s house as a runway for Cruise 2016, and then to Rio’s Niterói Museum for Cruise 2017, he has travelled all the way to Kyoto so that the background for Louis Vuitton’s Cruise 2018 collection could be the Miho Museum.
• But Japan had more to offer than just a beautiful building—Samurais, kabuki makeup, and traditional prints were among the Japanese inspirations found in the collection.
• For the most part, Ghesquière was balanced in his approach—this was not an entirely gimmicky collection, and it certainly could have debuted in any location and been equally successful.
• A highlight is certainly the blazers, which offered structure in the shoulders, but volume in the sleeves. After last fashion month, with many designers going for oversized blazer looks, it was refreshing to see a designer do a different (arguably more sophisticated) take on a trend.
• While the sequin t-shirt dresses will no doubt appear countless editorials, customers will likely gravitate to the numerous separates that appeared in this collection. The coats have commercial appeal, and the leather samurai-like vests will surely get scooped up by die-hard Ghesquière fans.
• Ghesquière, continuing Louis Vuitton’s tradition of collaborations, called upon designer Kansai Yamamoto (famous for creating some of David Bowie’s most iconic early looks, and being among the first Japanese designers to show in Paris) to whip up illustrations for said sequined dresses, as well as the handbags. Actually reaching out to a notable designer from Japan highlights Ghesquière’s commitment to his inspiration—this was not appropriation, but a loving homage.
• Ghesquière has really hit his stride at Vuitton. While the collection felt fresh, there were several reoccurring design elements (including the mix of hard and soft textiles at odd angles on garments, and single pieces that are meant to look layered) that point to a singular Louis Vuitton “look”. This collection is further proof that Ghesquière has truly carved out an aesthetic niche for his Vuitton in the luxury market.