Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection

Photo by Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com

For his show today, Nicolas Ghesquière swapped the great museums of Paris for its greatest avenue, the Champs-Élysées, and the new Louis Vuitton space under construction there. Though new is perhaps not the right word. Most recently a bank, the imposing building was made for the 1900 Exposition Universelle as a hotel to house international guests visiting the world’s fair. The Grand and Petit Palais and the Gare D’Orsay (future home of the Musée D’Orsay) were all built for the same occasion. “In temporality it’s so coherent with the story of Louis Vuitton,” said Ghesquière in a preview.

But it’s not just in temporality that it’s aligned. As anyone who’s passed by the building recently knows, travel is woven into the house’s DNA—its scaffolding is decorated to look like a Louis Vuitton steamer trunk.

Ghesquière has his own romance with travel—he talked about the “enigmatic experience” of checking into a hotel—and he also understands its challenges. “Vuitton is a luxury brand but it’s about function, it provides a service: to travel better. Mobility is important in clothes,” he said. A few months ago at his resort show on Italy’s Isola Bella he was storytelling about “mermaids of the lake, transforming into something else,” so it was startling to hear him talking about something as mundane as packing.

Of course, there was nothing prosaic about what came down the runway, which was custom-built by James Chinlund to look like the inside of a hot air balloon. Day-to-day is not Ghesquière’s style; in fact, more and more his clothes at Louis Vuitton bear the handcrafts of couture, but the clothes here were designed to be as light as possible. The long flowing skirts at the start were made from layers of mousseline and charmeuse, and the bomber jackets and silk blouses paired with them had a similarly breezy feel. Punctuated by a hip slung leather belt, it was a silhouette Ghesquière has never considered before, and potentially agenda setting. There were others: off-the-shoulder corseted tops made by Vuitton’s bespoke Atelier Rare et Exceptionnel worn with high-waisted tapering pants and suspenders; a shirt built like a sail trailing a wispy train underneath a simple black A-line skirt; a fully beaded jumpsuit with the loose fit of a slip.

At the end he showed a group of jackets whose workmanship has to be seen up-close to be appreciated. Though they looked to have been made in tweed bouclé, it was a far finer material laser-cut to give it a slightly ruffled texture. Extraordinary is the right word for it.

This article was originally published on Vogue Runway.

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