Louis Vuitton overran the French Riviera to showcase its Cruise 2019 collection. The brand has a long standing relationship with the region, opening its first store in Nice in 1908; many of its more infamous characters were also Vuitton customers (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Françoise Sagan and William Somerset Maugham). Guests were ferried from Cannes following two days of pre- cursor lunches and dinners to the small village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. More specifically, the Sixties era Fondation Maeght overlooking the Colline des Gardettes’ hilltop littered with work by Alberto Giacometti and Marc Chagall. Heady from just having his contract as artistic director of women’s collections renewed (for at least another five years, a rarity in the current designer carousel), Nicolas Ghesquière opted for another (although lesser known) art destination; his majestic ready-to-wear shows take place in Paris at the Louvre.
Emma Stone, Jennifer Connelly, Léa Seydoux, Justin Theroux, Sienna Miller, Mark Robson and Ruth Negga milled about in the Giacometti Courtyard for pre-show Ruinart champagne all sporting the latest Vuitton looks; however Grace Coddington outshone them all in silk pajamas blending the LV monogram with her signature drawings of cats. It soon emerged that her capsule collection of accessories featured in the show is set to hit stores in October. Live music during the reception came from French artist Woodkid; he also composed the soundtrack for the show, in which Jennifer Connelly reads extracts from the biography, Grace: A Memoir, by Grace Coddington.
Starting bang on time to avoid the approaching storm clouds, during the show models weaved through the maze of sculptures created by Joan Miró for the Sixties-era foundation, looks embraced many of the house codes reworked with vibrant colours, new shapes and textures. Spaceship volume was back – oversized dresses set off by thigh-high leather trainers boots (his hit Archlight sneakers in another guise basically). Puff-sleeved tunics, Botticelli gowns and silk shorts of spring 2018 were also back, jazzed up with sequinned jackets and kaleidoscopic-feathered tops.
Post collection, more Ruinart was served, and everyone hotfooted it (in the pouring rain) to the legendary scene of all things Slim Aarons, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, for the (indoors) afterparty where Louis Vuitton ‘life guards’ kept everyone entertained and you couldn’t move for oysters and smoked salmon. Cruise life.