Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall 2024 | Runway
Pre-Fall 2024

Photo: Giovanni Giannoni/ Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Since the beginning of his tenure at Louis Vuitton 10 years ago, Nicolas Ghesquière has shown his cruise collections in destinations far-flung from the house’s Paris base—everywhere from Rio de Janeiro to Palm Springs to Kyoto. More recently he’s started bringing his pre-fall offerings on the road too. This year’s show happened today in Shanghai at the Long Museum West Bund; it was his first show in China.

Ghesquière took the occasion to collaborate with the young Chinese artist Sun Yitian. Her cartoonlike animals—a leopard, a penguin, a pink bunny with LV fleur de lys, like stars, in his eyes—decorated an A-line car coat, shifts, and miniskirts, as well as bags and shoes, lending them the collectible quality of previous hookups with the likes of Yayoi Kusama and his friend the editor Grace Coddington.

At the fall show he staged in Paris last month, Ghesquière revisited and renewed his signatures. Nobody seeing this collection would mistake it for anyone’s but his either. That’s an asset likely to serve him and Louis Vuitton well as fashion lurches through a once-a-decade vibe shift. A challenging global marketplace has some designers grasping for a new style; Ghesquière, in contrast, seems assured of his.

After Sun’s hyperreal creatures’ entrances came a long series of florals, some on what looked like gently draped jersey, rendering them feminine and sporty at once, and others embroidered on utility vests and knee-grazing board shorts for a tougher vibe. A cropped zip-front shirt conjured memories of an iconic surf-themed collection, and patchwork shell jackets, motocross leathers, and baggy sarouel pants could’ve been winks at his back catalog as well.

Ghesquière has been a pants maestro since his Balenciaga days, but here he was more interested in skirts, showing many fluttering, tendrilly versions, sometimes longer in back than in front and other times worn over short trousers. To conclude, he scaled back the prints and embellishments but not the drama, showing a trio of voluminous bubble dresses in what appeared to be white, platinum, and black silk duchesse. These were about silhouette, not surfaces, and they had a subtle but unmistakable wow factor.

This article was originally published on Vogue Runway.

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