Louis Vuitton, the iconic French luxury brand, has always been synonymous with travel From its origins as a trunk maker in 1854 to its modern collections of leather goods, ready-to-wear, accessories, and fragrances, the house has always celebrated the art of movement and exploration. For its Spring/Summer 2024 show, Louis Vuitton took this theme to new heights, literally figuratively, by presenting a stunning collection inspired by hot air balloons and the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris.
The show took place at the new Louis Vuitton space under construction at 103 avenue des Champs-Elysees, a historic building that was originally built as a hotel for the international guest visiting the world’s fair in 1900. The venue was transformed into a spectacular runway by James Chinlund, who created a custom-built structure that resembled the inside of a hot air balloon. The models walked around the circular stage, surrounded by projections of clouds and landscapes, creating a sense of flying over different parts of the world.
The collection itself was a tribute to the spirit of adventure and discovery that characterized the turn of the century. Nicolas Ghesquiere, the artistic director of women’s collections at Louis Vuitton, said that he wanted to “celebrate mobility” and “travel better”. He achieved this by creating clothes that were light, fluid, and functional, but also rich in details and craftsmanship. The silhouettes were varied and versatile, ranging from long flowing skirts made from layers of mousseline and charmeuse to off-the-shoulder corseted tops worn with high-waisted pants and suspenders, to fully beaded jumpsuits with a loose fit. The fabrics were also diverse and innovative, featuring laser-cut textures, metallic finishes, graphic prints, and embroidered motifs. The accessories were equally impressive, with leather belts, bags, shoes, an jewelry that echoed the shapes and colors of hot air balloons.
The show was not only a visual feast, but also a musical one. The soundtrack was composed by Woodkid, who collaborated with Ghesquiere for the third time. The music was a mix of orchestral and electronic sounds, with vocals by Jennifer Connelly and Jaden Smith, who are both ambassadors of the brand. The songs were inspired by the themes of travel, exploration, and freedom, and added to the emotional impact of the show.
The Spring / Summer 2024 show was a remarkable achievement for Louis Vuitton, as it showcased its heritage, creativity, and innovation in a captivating way. The collection was a perfect example of how he art of travel can be translated into fashion, and how fashion can inspire us to see the world in new ways. As Ghesquiere said in his closing remarks: “Thank you for traveling with us”.