Nicolas Ghesquière's Artful Tribute to Spanish Influence for Louis Vuitton Cruise 2025 | Savoir Flair
Louis Vuitton
Nicolas Ghesquière's Artful Tribute to Spanish Influence for Louis Vuitton Cruise 2025
by Grace Gordon 4-minute read May 24, 2024

Gaudí is in the details.

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The night before the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2025 show in Barcelona, around 200 of its invited guests gathered for a welcome dinner at La Fábrica Bofill, a former cement factory that was modified by the skillful work of architect Ricardo Bofill. As the voices of Louis Vuitton’s influential guests bounced off the space’s concrete rafters, I thought about the other voices they represented – the ones pointed out to the world, disseminating what’s cool and what’s next with their social media pages and omnichannel magazines. 

Trying to tally the amount of influence in that room is an impossible task - hundreds of millions easily, maybe even billions. What does this mean for a brand like Louis Vuitton, the crown jewel of the world’s most powerful fashion conglomerate, LVMH? Especially right now, as luxury spending has taken a downturn amid currency issues, the limping Chinese market, geopolitical strife, and more. What will it mean the following day when these guests journey to the magical wonderland of Parc Guëll to take in the Cruise 2025 show? 

Louis Vuitton has long been staging epic cruise shows in some of the world’s most breathtaking architectural marvels. Kyoto’s MIHO Museum, Niterói Contemporary Art Museum in Brazil, Fondation Maeght in St. Paul-de-Vence, and Palazzo Borromeo on Isola Bella come to mind. These moments don’t only suggest the traveling nature of cruise collections, which are created for a jet-setting lifestyle, but are also demonstrations of the brand’s power to take over hallowed spaces. In other words, it’s a big flex. This time, Parc Guëll, designed by one of Spain’s most renowned architects, Antonio Gaudí, seemed ripe for reflection. What, if any, elements from his work might inspire the collection?

It turns out, not much. While Gaudí’s preternatural, vibrant, fluid designs might seem an obvious reference point given the show space, Creative Director Nicolas Ghesquière was thinking well beyond Gaudí. He wanted to pay tribute to “the flourishing culture of Spain” and “the country’s passionate character.” And so the exploration began beneath the curvaceous awning of the Parc’s Hypostyle Room with a subdued line-up of cocooning coat-dresses, suits, and pleat-topped separates rendered in neutral tones and stiff fabrics. For a cruise collection, this is a rigid place to begin. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the sharpness of the tailoring and delighted by the way the looks were paired with equally sharp gaucho hats, tilted askance. 

These unyielding silhouettes soon gave way to more fluid shapes formed from elegant draping. A surfeit of touchable textures arrived in the form of fur-cuffed jodhpurs, ruffled cape-backed tops, fringed booties, polka dot chiffons, and deconstructed tweed-and-lace dresses. And there, in their midst, were the nods to Gaudí I was searching for: a mosaic-tiled skirt, a shimmering ruffle-trimmed gown that echoed the patterns on the ceiling above us, and a few sleeves and hemlines etched ever-so-subtly in tiny tiles. 

Meanwhile, other Spanish touches emerged. Diego Velázquez’s Spanish infantas were modernized with puffy bubble shapes, exploded ruffles implied flamenco inspiration, and smocklike peasant dresses suggested traditional Catalan dress. As a whole, it was an artful blend of Spanish references and Ghesquière's signature retro-futurism (this time the references to the past hailed from the strong-shouldered 1980s), and bore a strong throughline from his previous Fall/Winter 2024 collection (minus the high-tech streetwear).

When I pulled back from the details of the collection, I saw a bounty of wearable looks. While its bags and shoes are always highly bankable, Louis Vuitton’s strong silhouettes make ready-to-wear a little more tricky for the average wardrobe to handle. Not this time around. Ghesquière was smart to infuse a spirit of ease into this artful collection with clothes that are both striking to look at and make sense in the context of real-world travel excursions that exist outside of the confines of a fashion show, especially as slowing sales in the luxury industry have made it more crucial to broaden's a brand's reach.

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Nicolas Ghesquière was SMART to infuse a spirit of ease into this artful collection with clothes that are both STRIKING to look at and make sense in the context of real-world travel.

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