Nicolas Ghesquière’s latest installment for Louis Vuitton’s Cruise collection at the Oscar Niemeyer-designed the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum (aka the MAC de Niterói) last weekend was such a ride!
As much as it fell into the same trappings as his previous collection in Palm Springs (at yet another modern architectural marvel and sun-drenched location), there were more elements of light-hearted fun this time around.
For a start, those same box seats that were made for the Palm Springs show reappeared in a multitude of colours alongside ultra-modern undulating wire benches. Such was the echo of Niemeyer’s work, whose status as Brazil’s national hero includes building the nation’s current capital.
As Mica Arganaraz first walked down the snaking concrete runway, it was apparent that the guests would be treated to a spectacle of cool. The collection opened with sporty cutouts on the body and asymmetric skirts over mini dresses in “techno-fabric”, shocking colours and a plethora of print.
Ghesquiere’s strength in layering references was felt down to the funky flip-flop-and-sneaker hybrid, which of course took its form from Havaianas, one of Brazil’s top exports. Alessandra Ambrosio, another fine Brazilian export, sat beside Alicia Vikander, Isabeli Fontana, Jaden Smith and Zendaya, who were all seen snapping away on their iPhones once the Boombox Petite Malles, carried oh-so-nonchalantly down the runway by the parade of models . So yes, this mix of LoFi with sport had already made waves on Instagram even before the show ended.
Speaking of waves, the attention on the clothes turned to some frilly action in the middle portion of the show. The frills came in leather on a mini skirt and paired with what appeared to be sneaker-bootie hybrids. Then the spotlight moved on to ruched details: One of the design team members testified that Ghesquière was inspired by a parachute. Parasailing on the beach anyone? A testament to this unexpected source of inspiration was a beautiful nylon ruched top (with laces on the side), worn on top of sexy boxing shorts with bum-high slits.
One thing that emerged from this collection was that this was not a mere street-luxe caveat that Ghesquière mastered in his previous work experience. This Cruise 2017 collection covered all the Fs: It was fashion forward, forward thinking, fun, frilly, fast and furious.
Blame it on the sunshine, but Rio’s light and spirit (and perhaps met with the city’s anticipation for the Summer Olympic Games) was surely influenced and informed the collection bringing it into a different level. It felt futuristic yet familiar much like the feel when you stand underneath the shadow of Niemeyer’s UFO shaped building which sits oddly fitting in the suburban Niteroi. One doesn’t work without the other and this juxtaposition play made this a true modern collection.
By Windy Aulia