A heightened sense of anticipation surrounded Louis Vuitton’s 2018 Cruise collection. A significant change in scene from last year’s Rio de Janeiro location, the show unfolded at Kyoto’s historic Miho Museum. Nestled high in a mountainous nature reserve in the Shiga Prefecture, the museum's sculptural walls, sweeping tunnels and structural steel beams served as the perfect backdrop for the collection. With the reserve's birds chirping in the background, a gentle breeze rustling the surrounding trees and the sun beginning to set, guests took their seats along the museum's modernist bridge. A fitting tribute to Japan's rich history and culture, Nicolas Ghesquière threw out all clichés and preconceived notions of Japanese femininity, opting instead for a modern tough-girl warrior complete with makeup resembling elements of Kumadori-style face paint.
Ghesquière drew from pillars of tradition referencing samurai armour with woven leather and jersey tops, inked prints reminiscent of those by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, ceremonial dress and martial arts, juxtaposing these details with clean and contemporary cuts with an architectural edge. A rich palette of metallic greens, navy blues, gold and black contrasted against leopard print, glossy crocodile skin and oriental motifs while sequined T-shirt and evening dresses layered over skin-tight metallic trousers brought extra sparkle. Obi belts tightly cinched at the waist added restricted refinement while trousers with sports stripes and tailored pinstriped shirts continued the House’s athleisure aesthetic. Accessories stayed on theme with bold Kabuki-eyed bags sure to be new season best sellers for the brand.
There was a lot on show in the 55-look collection and all of it incredibly well thought out. From the layers, colours and textures to the cuts, silhouettes and rebellious beauty looks, this masterful mix of old and new, felt spot on for today’s woman.