Published for Bluin Artinfo
Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton Creative Director for Women’s Collections, presented his fourth Cruise collection for the house on May 14, 2017 at the Miho Museum in Kyoto, Japan. He fused fashion, nature and architecture expressing the spirit of travel and being on the road, the 2018 Cruise Collection showcases the designer’s love affair with Japan.
“It was one of the first places I travelled to when I was seeking inspiration, some twenty years ago, and I’ve been a regular visitor ever since. (The Collection is a) culmination of what Japan has given to me for a very long time,” says Nicolas.
The unique location chosen by the designer as he believes that it encapsulates Japan’s “fusion of urban and natural.” Miho Museum is located on mountain one hour outside of Kyoto. The museum is revealed through a spectacular metal tunnel and a futuristic suspension bridge, designed in 1997 by I.M.Pei.
The cruise collection had various prominent Japanese influences throughout, majorly paying tribute to designer Kansai Yamamoto. Yamamoto created icons, symbols, and characters for the accessories, which featured Kabuki mask-like designs. These inspirations are translated in the Cruise collection in accessories, prints and make-up. The models wore dramatic eyebrows, exaggerated winged eyeliner, and colorful face as the Kabuki masks.
The garments had a blend of classic motifs native to Japan, inked landscapes, ceremonial dress, samurai clothing, the keikogi robe-like outfit worn for martial arts, as well as cinematic influences from Japanese directors Akira Kurosawa and Takeshi Kitano. There were pantsuits and tunics featuring Hokusai-like prints. Leather sweaters reminded one of the Japanese warriors.
The collection along depicted the culture of Japan also evoked the question of evolution.