A teletransportation of the Maison Louis Vuitton, the purveyor of the French “art de vivre”. Japan reconciles the mastery of mother nature and the profound respect for her. There is perhaps no better symbol of the quest to marry extreme modernity with natural surroundings than the Miho Museum. Architect I.M. Pei conceived the building to represent Shangri-La, the mythic heaven on earth thought to be found in a secret Himalayan valley.
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The fusion of urban and natural that so pervades Japan has served Louis Vuitton as a starting point for this collection. 2018 cruise collection alternates between the present day and a noble ancestral civilization, between futurism and poetry, between huge, vibrant cities and delicate landscapes. At the very heart of the question is the evolution from tradition to modernity.
The references are obvious, almost like a sign of respect. The garments recall samurai, figurative engraving, inked landscape, ceremonial dress, the keikogi of martial arts, the kurosawa cinematic dramaturgy, or the unique cinematic melancholy of Kitano. Urban pantsuits and architectural tunics are designed in the spirit of Hokusai. Interwoven jersey and leather sweaters recall the armor of Japanese warriors.
Evening dresses gleam with Noh theater gold. Delicately crafted obi belts become the fabric of tapered trousers. Handbags and clutches are decorated with Kabuki masks. This year’s croisière collection also pays tribute to designer Kansaï Yamamoto, who paved the way for an entire generation of Japanese designers by presenting his work in France with a fashion show in Paris. Yamamoto is well known for having designed most of David Bowie’s costumes. He has now created icons, symbols, and characters for Louis Vuitton bags and accessories.
The caps are the work of designer Kristopher Haigh, founder of the 1K brand. Actresses Rila Fukushima and Doona Bae will open and close the fashion show. Nicolas Ghesquière: ”I visited the Miho Museum a few years ago and was fascinated by I.M. Pei’s concept of the harmony between architecture and nature. Japan is a country I know well. It was one of the first places I traveled to when I was seeking inspiration, some twenty years ago, and I’ve been a regular visitor ever since. This collection is like a combination of what Japan has given to me for a very longtime”