At Louis Vuitton's Cruise 2023 show, the star of the moment was the sun. It wouldn't be a Nicolas Ghesquière show without a location to transport you all the way into the soul of the collection, and Cruise 23, debuted at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies by architect Louis Kahn in San Diego, served as just this for the collection. One evocative of Greek mythology, gods and goddesses, and Ghesquière's signature obsession with all things futurism.
Underneath the setting sun amid Kahn's vast concrete structures, initially designed as a serene concrete monastery for enlightened souls, Ghesquière's gilded warriors marched through the open air in a collection with the elements front of mind.
Ghesquière's silhouettes have been more on point than ever of late, introducing audacious silhouettes that offer wearability in a way that doesn't feel exhausted by the trend cycle. Mostly, because the fantasy of the shows is never lacking. For Cruise 2023, this felt especially acute. Metallic fabrics and embellishments reflected the orange sun which was dipped behind buildings; shoes, jeans, and spacey crop tops were offered in silver, gold, and gunmetal. Threads of gold were woven through tweed and jacquard while metallic skateboards were carried as the accessory of the season. Swaths of linen were roped around heads and draped across bodies over the metal elements giving a kind of dystopian wanderer-meets-warrior feel.
There were modern moments like quilted leather jackets and motifs lifted from water sports, where spray-painted primary colours were applied to boxy crop tops. Long leather belts with silver-embellished notches were knotted around bare stomachs – a detail which seemed to cause quite a stir in the press, but feels hardly the most controversial styling move to come out of fashions body-exposure movement of the past two years.
The show opened as though it meant to close, with huge jacquard dresses that offered the perfect amount of glamour with heavy hoods and peplums paired with casual sneakers – there is nothing like the effect of a model in flats who can practically levitate down a runway. To close, it was all about space-age armour, otherworldly pieces with stately shoulders finished with hair-fine metallic fringe that gave a tinsel-like effect.
At Louis Vuitton's Cruise 2023 show, there was something for everyone. A mesmerising amalgamation of shapes, reflections and light refractions. All of it, an ode to the elements. If this didn't tip you over the edge and dunk you directly into Ghesquière's glimmering world, we don't know what will.
Watch the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2023 show, below.