Louis Vuitton has gone tropical, as the Maison staged it’s Cruise 2017 collection in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, whose environmental utopia, offers the ideal backdrop. Nicolas Ghesquière, as much of an architecture nut as he is a fashion creator, chose the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói as his backdrop, taking on board architect Oscar Niemeyer to harmonise the paradox of civilisation versus the natural.
The collection itself celebrates Brazil as a whole as it captures the country’s vitality, energy, multi-culturalism, freedom, urban futurism and romanticism — all the dynamic feeling Rio de Janeiro inspires. It was athleticism in its finest; dresses with a streamlined spirit illustrate a new aerodynamic silhouette while slashed stripes on trousers lengthen then silhouette. Luxuriously embroidered skirts appear to have been wrapped in haste, in the manner of a beach towel. From tech-thongs and neoprene sneakers to ghetto-blaster trunks that brings a musical nod to the Maison’s know-how, every piece in the collection was a head turner.
Louis Vuitton’s Cruise 2017 collection also pays homage to two major Brazilian artists: First is Helio Oiticica, a pioneer of the Neo-Concrete movement and an explorer of space through painting. Nicolas Ghesquière picks up on the principle of lightness: parkas unfold like kites, while taffeta cape-dresses seem to be anticipating the wind to rise. The second was Aldemir Martins, an artist renowned for his paintings of flora and fauna, represented the vibrancy of his native region, the Nordeste. Impassioned by Brazilian popular culture, and notably football, he paid tribute to Pelé in one of his most famous paintings, “A Fera” (1969). Ghesquière reprises Martins’ print from the Rhodia Collection collection, recasting it on the Maison’s classics.
“I so admire the power of Oscar Niemeyer’s conviction. His vision, his radicality, his utopia even. Being able to show a fashion collection in such an architecturally powerful space is a sensorial experience. In Rio de Janeiro, what I saw most of all was movement and an explosive energy that lives somewhere between modernism and tropicality. I was fascinated by the constant duality between nature and urbanism and the pictorial explosion it creates. For me, the main question was how to incorporate into my collection all these elements that are part of Brazilian culture, without forgetting that I am just a visitor who brings his own Parisian and French cultural references to the moment.” – Nicolas Ghesquière.
Bravo Ghesquière, you truly made Brazil feel exhilaratingly cutting edge.