Written By:

“It’s quite dressed up, there’s nothing casual about it,” said Nicolas Ghesquière of his Louis Vuitton cruise show, held in Barcelona, where the designer showed a collection as striking and idiosyncratic as the fairytale architectural backdrop of his catwalk location. Ghesquière took over the vaulted Hypostyle Room in Antoni Gaudí’s Park Güell, where glittering mosaic ceilings, held up by 86 Doric columns, soar above undulating mosaic-encrusted benches. The building presides over the city and the Mediterranean like a serene, Middle Earth palace.

What better place to show a collection of such wildly varied inspirations. Eras and styles collide and time and space fold in Ghesquière’s work. Spanish culture old and contemporary influenced him. “I love that this country is evocating a certain groundedness and some rigour, and in the meantime it’s about freedom, it’s about youngness, it’s about an extravagance somehow,” said the designer who spoke of having Velázquez, Goya, and Zurbarán on his mind, as well as filmmaker Luis Buñuel and the upcoming America’s Cup in Barcelona, sponsored by Louis Vuitton. It made for a collection full of wow moments as Ghesquière, like a maestro brought these many strands together.

The show opened with striking architectural tailoring, worn with straw Gaucho hats. Ghesquière’s models looked like aloof, bourgeois futurists as they strode through the columns to Gary Numan’s ‘Music for Chameleons’ and Malcolm McLaren’s ‘Madame Butterfly’. Oversized eighties blousons and coats with linebacker shoulders segued into deconstructed tweeds, and jodhpurs reimagined in taffeta and tucked into thigh-high riding boots or worn with lavish, leather fringed booties (aka fashion catnip). There was plenty of swagger and swish, with cape-sleeved dresses. A series of puff-ball mini dresses thrilled with aristocratic grandeur – perfect for a futuristic infanta (or Jennifer Connelly, Sophie Turner, Jaden Smith and Phoebe Dynevor who watched from the front row). Striking, sculptural and lavishly textured these were silhouettes to savour.