Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquière confidently seals a new era by welcoming artsy styles and ensembles with a hodgepodge of eccentricity for cruise 2019
Nicolas ghesquière enters his fifth year at Louis Vuitton, and already, his signature eclectic vision has taken a root identity. The cruise 2019 collection may be his defining one yet—that much was clear when we came face-to-face with pieces showcased at Asia Pacific’s cruise 2019 press preview at Keppel Bay Vista, Singapore. The venue opened to yachts and blue waters, immersing us in the season’s dreamy disposition. The natural rawness and glinting sea whisked us into a stimulating nook of Nicolas’s vision. When the visionary director first presented the cruise show at the Fondation Maeght, a private art foundation in the south of France—a discernible departure from the Louvre in Paris—many detected a bold new energy. The clothing embraced a radical, voluminous form; a touch of ’80s glam rock, a
smidgenid off samuraii uniform.if Thishi undertaking d ki employed eclectic tailoring, jewelled tones and a motley of embroidery. Cruise 2019 also got the nod for collaborating with inimitable style icon Grace Coddington, whose quirky nature and beloved pet dogs and cats lent a playfulness—but more on that later.
Airy, tunic-like silhouettes were a recurring theme, amped up with spliced sleeves, plus a mishmash of print and collared details, giving way to proportion and dimensions that are truly exciting. Boxy cuts and wide shoulders resembled Jedi-esque outfits, pruned with geometric prints and colours from regal to pastel tones. As far as mashups go, the collection’s eccentricity pointed to flashy details like glossy materials, strips of exotic print, and vinyl shine. Vibrant vests, denim jackets, and sequinned jackets were thrown on as a layer, appealing to women for the intricate quirks that were formerly selectively bared.
AN ECLECTIC MENAGERIE
Though the overall mood was eccentric, there was an underlying touch of softness too. Edgy graphics collided with the sensuality of silk, like powdery nightgowns and slinky lace things—remnants of spring 2018 that captured the feminine form in its movement. Padded jackets, oversized parkas and exaggerated sleeves escalated into
Coddington’s cats, Pumpkin and Blanket, and Ghesquière’s’ dog, Léon, were immortalised in bags of all shapes and sizes
flamboyance, running the gamut of feathered tops in jewelled hues. Proportioning the look were patchwork shorts and over-the-knee boots with a sliver of thigh visible. Footwear was avant-garde, chunky Archlight sneakers featured alongside constructed tops with micro hemlines and shorts for an overarching futuristic look.
ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE
Cruise 2019 comprised a cast of distinguished characters that hinted at their identity via design. A court jester’s uniform of motley stripes and boxed patterns took various shapes. Birds of paradise and their colourful coats influenced baggy sweaters with statuesque frames. The baby doll look was all grown up by simply adding a narrow collar, its short dress embellished with floating hemlines.
A CASE FOR CODDINGTON
Accessories were under the influence of Grace Coddington—it is said that Nicolas
Cruise 2019 comprised a cast of distinguished characters that hinted at their identity by design
and Grace bonded over their love for animals, and chose to reflect this in a line of bags and trinkets. The shapes of her cats, Pumpkin and Blanket, and Nicolas’ dog, Léon, were immortalised in the form of bags of all shapes and sizes, cute charms, as well as converted into prints on LVmonogrammed silk pyjamas that made for a whimsical collaboration also known as the ‘catogram’.
BAGGING THE PRIZE
What is Louis Vuitton without the bags? The season flipped to a new chapter for the French maison, as Nicolas introduced a slew of new shapes, notably a bucket bag and flap bags, made from the iconic Epi and Monogram canvas. Classic goods like the Speedy and Neverfull enjoyed a comeback alongside current favourites, the Petite Malle and City Steamer. Significant facelifts took shape in the Monogram vernis, outfitted in new pastels that took well to new shapes like the minaudière and top handle styles. The cruise 2019 collection casts a light on Louis Vuitton’s future of imagination and innovation. Appropriating classics to modern tastes suggests the brand’s audacious new direction, but not before checking in with tradition first.