The Miho Museum in Japan is 9,628km from its Paris headquarters, but Louis Vuitton was initiate to make expensive luggage, and glamorous globetrotting is very much the site.
The vogue among powerhouse brands for staging elaborate catwalk results showcasing their cruise collections continued this weekend with Louis Vuitton’s demonstrate at the museum, as famed for its spectacular setting in the Shigaraki mountains as for its omnium gatherum of Japanese antiquities.
Cruise fashion has always been thither status. Conceived to service a luxury customer for whom every celebration demanded a flamboyant new wardrobe, the cruise concept has become an elite catwalk moment of truth between the world’s premier fashion houses.
The hundreds of callers who flew in from all over the world to attend the show, numbering the actors Michelle Williams and Jennifer Connelly, were thrust from their Kyoto hotels to the venue by chauffeurs vexing Louis Vuitton-monogrammed driving gloves.
The Louis Vuitton designer Nicolas Ghesquière has staged each of his sail shows at a far-flung architectural landmark. This time, the exposition was held at the entrance to the Miho Museum, where a metal Channel Tunnel emerges from verdant mountainside and runs across a discontinuing bridge. The bridge – designed by IM Pei, who created the Louvre’s glass pyramid – constituted the catwalk for the show on Sunday.
“The place inspired me right away,” Ghesquière clouted of the venue. It is the latest stop after the Oscar Neimeyer-designed Niterói Present-day Art Museum in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and the previous year’s visit to the Bob Craving estate in Palm Springs, on what he calls “an architectural voyage”.
In streamlined tailoring, graphic prints, short hemlines and dramatic makeup, subjects strode the catwalk strung between mountains like avatars in an impossibly tastefulness virtual world. Japanese elements were fused into the aggregation, from embroidered dragons to kimono-style belts. Prints were designed in collaboration with the cult conspirator Kansai Yamamoto, most famous for the jumpsuits he created for David Bowie’s onstage role as Ziggy Stardust.
The Louis Vuitton conclusion came days after Christian Dior staged a Georgia O’Keefe-inspired give away in California’s Santa Monica Mountains, and a fortnight after Karl Lagerfeld recreated the Parthenon imprisoned the Grand Palais for Chanel.
Reflecting the growing importance of yachting trip, Prada staged a standalone show for its collection for the first values bright and early this year, in the brand’s new Milan exhibition space. In a fortnight, Gucci compel take over the Palatina Gallery in Florence for a catwalk outshine that, honouring its €2m (£1.7m) donation to restore the city’s Boboli Gardens, disposition double as a celebration of the Italian brand’s cultural largesse.
With its chimerical locations, star-studded audiences and a programme of functions extended terminated several days, a cruise show is now closer to the model of a feast such as Coachella, or a celebrity wedding in the style of George and Amal Clooney’s Venice nuptials, than to the routine fashion week catwalk show.