Incessant rain failed to put a damper on Nicolas Ghesquiere’s ambitions for his Louis Vuitton 2024 Cruise collection, unveiled Wednesday to an A-list crowd including Oprah Winfrey, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Stone.
Originally envisioned against a golden sunset setting aglow magnificent fountain on the aptly named Isola Bella on northern Italy’s Lake Maggiore, the show was instead moved into the stately public rooms of the Borromeo Palace, construction of which was started in the 17th century and only completed 400 years later, after World War II. The sprawling palace near the Swiss border remains the summer residence of the Borromeo family.
Destination cruise shows are among the fashion world’s most ambitious, taking the fashion crowd to some of the planet’s most scenic locations. The internet still buzzes over Ghesquiere’s Cruise 2018 show in Kyoto and Cruise 2017 in Rio de Janeiro.
The Isola Bella show was no less enterprising, imagined amid the island’s botanical gardens against the backdrop of a tiered fountain adorned with mythical creatures. In his notes,Ghesquiere described the collection as a sort of “archaeology of the future,” set on an island that “beckons more dreamlike reflections.”
The creative force behind Louis Vuitton for the last decade combined Baroque references easily identified in oil paintings hanging throughout the palace, like accordion collars, with modern materials like neoprene and sporty silhouettes that layered boxers over biker shorts paired with rounded quilted tops.
While hundreds of invited guests watched the show inside the palace, the Parisian fashion house ran a walk through during an afternoon break in the rain for photographers. To anyone watching the show in streaming, the models strolled in the open air against the backdrop of a Baroque fountain as Ghesquiere intended.