I’m not saying that Louis Vuitton’s cruise 2023 womenswear collection looked like it was stripped from the costume sketches of a Dune sequel; I’m saying that the collection could be perfect for the Denis Villeneuve’s part two of the reimagining.
Set against the Brutalist architecture of San Diego’s Salk Institute, the Louis Vuitton cruise 2023 womenswear collection came to life in almost futuristic fashion. The first few looks that came out of from among the concrete buildings seemed to be updates to artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière’s bustle-laden designs for the maison’s spring/summer 2022 womenswear collection. But for cruise 2023, they took on more gargantuan proportions in all-over metallic jacquards treated to form raised patterns, that captured light as models moved down the runway.
It was not by chance that the fashion show was scheduled as the sun was setting — both to take advantage of the locale’s arguably most stunning moment of the day, as well as to showcase the collection’s brilliant display of fabric manipulations. The fluidity of draping techniques employed throughout juxtaposed with the seemingly metallic accents that run rampant in every look, created an aesthetic that felt nomadic with an almost cinematic quality.
Yes, there’s that rather obvious reference to fashion as armour (hardly a surprise given the metallic elements involved) but nothing felt gimmicky. Ghesquière’s Louis Vuitton women felt powerful and heroic, accentuated by the strong, sculptural shoulders of cropped capelets crafted out of a range of those metallic-esque fabrics. Yet, at the same time, the ensembles were wearable enough without looking as though they belonged inside the pages of a Marvel comic.
On the accessories front, a new interpretation of Louis Vuitton’s emblematic trunk came in the form of a top handle. Framed on opposite ends with the sturdy structure of a Louis Vuitton trunk, the bags remained soft and supple in the middle— once again a juxtaposition between sturdy architecture and more fluid elements.
Completing a number of looks were fingerless gloves. These weren’t necessarily referenced from armour, but rather, looked almost sporty, as though they were meant for tech-infused, futuristic roller-blading — embellished to varying degrees to match the equally artful ready-to-wear. But in any case, definitely an accessory to look out for once the collection drops towards the end of the year.
There’s no denying that it’s a characteristically Ghesquière collection. The choice of fabrics and that sense of tension between contrasting elements is something that remains a core, favoured aesthetic. But what’s more apparent for cruise 2023 was in the way that it’s now grown to be how a Louis Vuitton woman is identified. And that, is a stratospheric feat in itself.
View the full Louis Vuitton cruise 2023 womenswear collection in the gallery below.