And so we begin another cycle of fashion shows. Cruise is upon us, graduate fashion week too, menswear starts at the weekend, couture will follow. It’s exhausting, yet exhilarating, to be constantly fed new stuff to fawn on awaiting the September shows. Cruise began, controversially, in Cuba, where Chanel staged the country’s inaugural fashion show, to much criticism. Following that, Louis Vuitton made a similar gamble, taking to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In various posts throughout this year and last, I mention how fashion brand’s and magazines are yet again latching onto newness—Cuba saturated fashion editorials, Rio was present in most collections due to the impending Summer Olympics, which commence in August. Louis Vuitton landed in a country where President Dilma Rousseff is primed to be impeached, and there are 150,000 suspected cases after the Zika virus outbreak. It’s a damaging time to be in Brazil, but the fashion circus has the ability to restore the magical image of a city.
Nicolas Ghesquière chose the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum for his show. Victoria’s Secret Angel, Alessandra Ambrosia took over the ‘LVLive’ Snapchat account, guests were given helicopter tours of the city, stars (such as Alicia Vikander, Zendaya, Catherine Deneuve, Jaden Smith) and press were flown in for the festivity. Completed in 1996, the museum was designed by Oscar Niemeyer. In true Ghesquière style, the structure is an architectural feat. Cylindrical, curved, defiant, beautiful. Most of those words could sum up the collection too. The clothes featured sinuous curvatures, defied fashion norms with their idiosyncrasy, and captured Brazil in a unique, beautiful way.
The scuba-diver look to the collection was designed to reflect the famous Copacabana and Ipanema locales. The shoe choice of subverted sandal was Ghesquière’s brilliant mind working to transport Brazilian beach culture to an alternate universe. Surfer chic revamped. Through a lens of Brazilian modernist art, the colours and shapes were arrived at. Other odes to the country included tank tops emblazoned with Aldemir Martins’ paintings of football legend Pelè; race-car prints and a chequered flag knit resembled other national sporting heroes: Formula 1 stars.
CEO Michael Burke of Vuitton, said “we’re investing in Brazil because we know Brazil is a great country. We’re not surfers, we’re investors. We invent in fundamentals. We buy for the long term.” In the long-term, Brazil are needing to stabilise their economy, which is currently experiencing the worst recession in 30 years. They’re gearing up to host the Olympic Games, and corruption is as rife as Zika virus cases.
For Nicolas Ghesquière to land in the country with 500 guests, helicopter tours, renting an art museum for the night, is untimely. But I’m sure this has been in the pipeline for some time. And like I said, the artistic director has managed to restore the image of Brazil as one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It helped that it unequivocally aligned with Louis Vuitton’s experimentalist, travel-keen, athletic aesthetic. This collection evoked exoticism, emoted energy.
Photo Credit: crash.fr