Louis Vuitton draws inspiration from Italy’s Isola Bella, infusing Baroque, and botanical elements into their Cruise 2024 collection.
On Wednesday, May 24th, creative director Nicolas Ghesquière unveiled the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2024 show live from Isola Bella, situated on Italy’s Lake Maggiore. Conceived as an enchanting narrative, the collection encompasses a diverse range of influences, showcasing a fusion of baroque grandeur and modern neoprene. Just as Isola Bella stands as a verdant vessel navigating the realms of myth and reality, Ghesquière discovers a fresh equilibrium, blending contemporary femininity with an abundance of romance within this intriguing paradoxical concept. It marked the first-ever fashion event held on the island owned by the Borromeo family and renowned for its Baroque art suspended over the water.
Originally intended to take place against the backdrop of a captivating golden sunset and a magnificent fountain on Isola Bella, situated on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy, the show had to be relocated to the grand public rooms of the Borromeo Palace. The palace’s construction began in the 17th century and was only completed four centuries later, following World War II.
This sprawling palace, located near the Swiss border, serves as the Borromeo family’s summer residence. Fashion’s destination cruise shows are renowned for their ambitious nature, transporting the fashion elite to some of the world’s most breathtaking locations.
The internet still buzzes with excitement over Ghesquière’s Cruise 2018 show in Kyoto and Cruise 2017 in Rio de Janeiro. The Isola Bella show was equally daring, envisioned amidst the island’s captivating botanical gardens, framed by a tiered fountain adorned with mythical creatures. In his show notes, Ghesquière described the collection as an “archaeology of the future,” set on an island that “invites contemplation of dreamlike visions.”
“A Cruise that gives rise to contemporary tales, populated by drifting creatures that abandon aquatic dwellings for the discovery of terrestrial wonders,” the brand writes in the show notes, speaking to the blend of mystical and surprisingly concrete references found throughout the offerings. “The Cruise 2024 collection is a narrative of transformation. Sartorial characters that renew themselves, each in contact with the other.”
The collection unfolds as an enchanting tale brought to life. According to Nicolas Ghesquière, the depicted woman is a resilient and independent figure, capable of overcoming external challenges with the assistance of her sole ally, nature. This botanical Cruise showcases a delightful blend of paradoxes that captivate and pique the viewer’s curiosity, leaving them fascinated by the embodiment of a mermaid.
“Imagined as a tale of the extraordinary, the collection is open to a myriad of influences, revealing a hybrid elegance of baroque opulence and neoprene. Like Isola Bella, a ship of greenery sailing between myth and reality, Nicolas Ghesquière finds the new balance of contemporary femininity and ultra-romance in this paradoxical notion.”
The characters woven into this narrative, along with their attire, navigate between the mythological fantasies that reign on the island and the realities shaped by life on the mainland. They portray scenes of constant transformation, facilitating a dynamic interchange between the ordinary and the extraordinary.
Louis Vuitton continues its journey of innovation, seamlessly translating its values of elegance and refinement into an entirely new realm. The collection embraces a magical style that pushes the boundaries of what is possible and blurs the lines between reality and imagination. Within this collection, garments undergo a perpetual metamorphosis, presenting decisive and essential silhouettes that effortlessly evolve into elegant and voluminous forms.
The Louis Vuitton Cruise 2024 collection found its inspiration in the captivating setting of the show. Aquatic motifs were infused into the designs, featuring waterproof neoprene fabrics and allusions to sea creatures emerging from Lake Maggiore. Pleated fins adorned the underarms and necklines, while models adorned goggles, evoking a readiness for deep-sea exploration. Elaborate headpieces and jewel-decorated tops added a touch of regal elegance. The collection aimed to weave contemporary tales of ethereal beings venturing into earthly marvels.
As the models gracefully walked the runway, evoking thoughts of Ariel and her sisters, sheer dresses and flowing skirts created an ambience of lightness. Further inspiration was drawn from the island’s aquatic surroundings, incorporating ruffled details reminiscent of fins and fabrics resembling scuba gear. The meticulous attention to detail was evident, with intricate swirled beading, ornate headpieces fit for mermaid royalty, and floral sequined print dresses that resembled stained glass when admired from a distance.
The Louis Vuitton Cruise 2024 collection also presented a departure from the neutral and hardware-focused aesthetics seen in recent seasons, embracing a lighter and brighter tone. Ghesquière introduced slouchy pastel sweaters with sheer panels, elegant satin draped mini dresses in vibrant jewel tones, and breezy culottes layered with bike shorts. Despite this shift, the designer skillfully incorporated his signature elements into the creations. Cocoon-like tops, lavishly adorned layers, and slope-sleeve blazers all made appearances, but with a relaxed and effortless style that added a touch of sci-fi-meets-Bridgerton cosplay to the overall silhouettes.