The setting for the show was the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, architect Louis Kahn’s striking masterpiece that houses one of the world’s most cutting-edge biomedical research centers, a fitting backdrop for the house’s first cruise show since “end” of the pandemic.
“Louis Kahn envisioned a place of serenity and reflection, drawing inspiration from monasteries and artistic retreats,” says Nicolas Ghesquière, creative director of Louis Vuitton. ‘[Pero] beyond the impressive site, this place has enormous significance for the future of humanity. It is an institute of work, which is unprecedented for our cruise collection show locations’
However, it was another Californian masterpiece that was the star of the show: the sun. Ghesquière’s guest of honor ‘opened’ the show with a stunning sunset, preparing guests including Phoebe Dynevor, Lea Seydoux and Gemma Chan for the event.
In this particular spot, “it’s as if the sun has found its frame,” explains Ghesquière. “Play with the perspective of the building and its rays culminate in the linear spring, the vanishing point where the water seems to turn into liquid gold. When I saw their strange harmony, everything clicked.”
Naturally, then, the Cruise 2023 collection featured “clothes to celebrate the sun and clothes to ward off it.” Think of molten metals that shimmered in the sun and on the runway, futuristic-looking protective sunglasses, goddess-style jacquard tunics, hybrid shoes that were a mix of desert boots, sneakers and mules, and intricate, draped fabrics that gave a nomadic aesthetic.
The fabrics looked as cutting-edge as ever. “For most of the show, it’s the cotton, silk and wool that we manage to make visually technical without using glue or thermoforming,” Ghesquière noted. ‘It’s a great evolution in tissue transformation. Very shiny frayed tweeds, sequins, leather and metallic denim, all raw materials mixed with glitter. There are also metallic embroideries that oxidize over time and change color.’ Graphic prints, on the other hand, were created using a thermal imaging camera.
Other highlights included leather belly belts, a silver LV monogrammed skateboard, and the show closing to the sound of Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth. An explicit and very correct message.