Louis Vuitton’s cruise 2017 show
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Nicolas Ghesquière set the stage for the Resort season in Rio de Janeiro this afternoon. Celebrities and fashion insiders—including Alicia Vikander, Alessandra Ambrosio, Zendaya and Jaden Smith—flocked to Brazil for the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2017 show at the Oscar Niemeyer-designed Niterói Contemporary Art Museum. The collection drew inspiration from the city's vibrant art and culture, featuring pieces in splashycolors and prints, and futuristic silhouettes with sporty details. Accessories were equally cool—with such standouts as the label's signature trunk made over to look like a boombox and gladiator sandals with an athletic update.
Rio de Janeiro is in the eye of a storm, beset by a collapsing government, economic turmoil and the zika-virus-carrying A. Aegypti mosquito. On top of that, it has an Olympic Games to deliver in 68 days. The metro system isn't finished, let alone the beach volleyball stadium which will be the pride of Copacabana Beach but is currently nothing more than a mass of scaffolding in the sand.
Into this maelstrom last night came Nicolas Ghesquière, artistic director of womenswear at Louis Vuitton, to showcase his latest cruise collection for the French luxury behemoth. At first glance, his choice of the Brazilian port city seems almost as quixotic as Karl Lagerfeld’s decision to stage a Chanel cruise show in Cuba three weeks ago. It's certainly as much of a fashion ‘first’ as the Havana spectacular since there's never before been a major international catwalk show in Rio. But while the Cubans have been cut off from the wider world in fashion terms for about 60 years, Brazilians have very much kept up with the rest of us. Not only do they have genuine card-carrying supermodels - Gisele Bundchen, Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima to name merely three - they are also avid consumers of Vuitton’s handbags, luggage and accessories. And now, surely, of its fashion too.
Ghesquière is a lover of architecture, so the choice of venue was almost as important for him as the clothes he paraded there. And his building of choice was certainly spectacular. The Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói, designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and built in the 1990s, looks like a white flying saucer that has touched down on the tip of a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea about an hour’s drive from the centre of Rio. The only way out of the building is down a curving spool of crimson concrete that spirals down to the ground, creating the most dramatic runway any of the 47 seasoned models there can ever have walked. Louis Vuitton was founded in 1854 in order to help the wealthy travel in comfort and style, and Ghesquière has been true to the brief.
There was a sport and an athleticism to the clothes, whether white-stretch, multi-pocketed trousers, or performance-fabric, zip-fastened mini-dresses, that indicated that, whoever the Vuitton woman is, she’ll be going places this autumn. She’ll also be striding out in comfort since the shoes and boots shown on the catwalk were resolutely forgiving neoprene - and were the thong-toed lace-up boots inspired by flipflops? There were more nods to Brazil in the footballer print inspired by the local artist Aldemir Martins’ paintings of Pelè that adorned some tank tops. Meanwhile the ruffles, hot blues and reds, and cutaway sections on many of the mini-dresses evoked a spirit of carnival.
As did the bags - some of which were styled to look exactly like a 1980s boom box, while others delighted with their fringing, graffiti decoration and vibrant pinks, yellows and scarlets. ‘I’m a Frenchman who’s come to present a French luxury collection but it’s also tropical and exotic,’ explained Ghesquière. ‘Nature is explosive here, and at the same time you have these wonderful buildings. It’s a beautiful chaos.’
Watching this joyous marriage of Vuitton and Rio was a hand-picked group of celebrities including the French icon Catherine Deneuve, the Swedish Oscar winner Alicia Vikander, Jaden (son of Will) Smith, and Adriana Lima. Beautiful chaos indeed.
Louis Vuitton Cruise 2017 Fashion Show took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the beautiful Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum, which set against the Atlantic Ocean and designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer.
Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum
Inside Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum
“I so admire the power of Oscar Niemeyer’s conviction. His vision, his radicality, his utopia even. Being able to show a fashion collection in such an architecturally powerful space is a sensorial experience. In Rio de Janeiro, what I saw most of all was movement and an explosive energy that lives somewhere between modernism and tropicality. I was fascinated by the constant duality between nature and urbanism and the pictorial explosion it creates. For me, the main question was how to incorporate into my collection all these elements that are part of Brazilian culture, without forgetting that I am just a visitor who brings his own Parisian and French cultural references to the moment.” said the creative director of the house of Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière.
The collection is sporty and artful with asymmetrical hems, peek-a-boo cutouts and lightweight layers. The accessories are futuristic. The gladiator-style sporty flat thong sandals and sneaker ankle boots are functional and practical, featuring molded comfortable sneaker sole with strap up or lace up around the ankle. The pointed toe booties are designed with T-bar front and finished in contrasted colors. Leather oxfords with large ankle cuff completed the silhouette with an edgy, confident and relaxed attitude.
Louis Vuitton continues to outdo itself with must see shows in exotic locales. Rio de Janeiro was the backdrop for their recent Cruise 2017 show, and the brand added ample sparkle by inviting well heeled celebrity guest and style stars.
Take a look at who had an ticket to the front row:
Zendaya is such a beauty! The pretty young thing added a red lip to Louis Vuitton Fall 2016 printed dress, an LV Fall 2017 Ready to Wear Twist MM Bag, and the brand’s $970Unchain Ankle Strap Sandals. Boom!
She keeps getting better!
Model Liu Wen shined in a red accented Fall 2017 frock.
Jaden Smith smized in a Fall 2017 Louis Vuitton women’s jacket. He pulls it off!
It was hard to miss Miroslava Duma in black on black Louis Vuitton.