Thursday 16th July

| BY Claudia Croft

Louis Vuitton: Cruise 2021

From Rio to Kyoto, via Monaco and JFK. Over the past few years, Nicolas Ghesquière has mastered the art of the far-flung destination Louis Vuitton show, fusing the brand’s travel DNA with his futuristic high-fashion vision. Then came Covid. The question now is how do you do a destination show without a destination? Ghesquère’s response? A collection inspired by travelling into his memories, showcased with the help of GPS technology and a quirky Streetview version of a presentation. To showcase its Cruise 2021 collection, Louis Vuitton set up an invite-only digital event in Nicolas Ghesquière’s studio, which had a “Wonderland” makeover after being decorated with the playing card motifs that scattered through the collection. After logging in, viewers could click on the arrows for a virtual walkthrough, stop, turn 360 degrees and zoom in on products for a closer look. It was a smart, practical solution delivered with plenty of charm.

Those sentiments were reflected in the collection itself. The show notes described the designer delving into “style-driven emotions” and “memorable colours”. “I looked somewhere that has been calling out to me for a long time, somewhere I hadn’t taken the time to go back to. To uncover one inspiration after another. This is an exploration of my creative identity.” His starting point was personal and cerebral but Ghesquière must have keyed into his happiest memories. His endpoint was a joyful, playful and heartfelt collection. The star accessory? An adorable heart-shaped monogrammed shoulder bag. The clothes erred on the side of practicality and wearability as Ghesquière focused on the pieces we love him for; blouses adorned with frothy ruffles, desirable cargo pants, rugby striped knits and eighties blousons. He injected flights of fancy with little playing card motif mini dresses whilst pegged slacks, striped leggings and pointed pastel pixie boots cast a nostalgic filter over it all. Happy days.