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Louis Vuitton presents its new Cruise collection in Barcelona

By Jaime Martinez


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Louis Vuitton, Cruise 2025. Credits: Giovanni Giannoni, Louis Vuitton.

Leaving all traces of insubstantial controversy aside, Louis Vuitton turned the city of Barcelona into the global epicentre of the fashion world for a few hours on May 23, with the presentation of its new Cruise 2025 collection, a proposal through which the famous fashion house paid tribute to Spain and its culture, in what became a new vindication of its own history as a firm focused on the "art of travelling".

Following the revelation that Louis Vuitton was to touch down in Barcelona as the venue for the Cruise presentation, anticipation had been growing, fuelled by an increased interest in what the long-awaited collection and fashion show would entail. It was a curiosity that a whole host of well-known personalities from both inside and outside Spain did not hesitate to try to satisfy first hand, disembarking in the city with the intention of getting to know all the singularities of this latest Louis Vuitton collection.

The women's collection was designed by the equally renowned French designer Nicolas Ghesquière, creative director of Louis Vuitton's women's since November 2013, who brought the brand to Barcelona's historic Park Güell, designed by Antonio Gaudí in 1914 and declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1984, following its declaration as an Asset of Cultural Interest and Historical Heritage of Spain in 1969.

Louis Vuitton, Cruise 2025. Credits: Louis Vuitton.
Louis Vuitton, Cruise 2025. Credits: Louis Vuitton.

In keeping with the same modernist nature, composed of sinuous and organic lines, that characterises this work by Gaudí, the interior of the hypostyle hall of the Barcelona gardens was intervened by the renowned American stage designer James Chinlund, who was responsible for designing the white benches that, not only served to complete the models' route along this improvised catwalk, but also served as seating for all the guests at the presentation. In keeping with the international character of the guest list, these individuals included well-known names such as American actress Jennifer Connelly, Cuban-Spanish actress Ana de Armas, British actress and singer Cynthia Erivo and British actress Sophie Turner.

A tribute to Spain and its culture and to the 'art of travelling'

Aside from the prestigious guest list, the collection itself referencing the "art of travelling" for which the famous Parisian label has been the guardian since its foundation back in 1854. At that time, Louis Vuitton began its journey as a firm specialising in travel items, which have continued mutate and re-contextualise themselves up until the present day, reflecting the urge to go out and immerse oneself in new cultural manifestations.

Louis Vuitton, Cruise 2025. Credits: Louis Vuitton.
Louis Vuitton, Cruise 2025. Credits: Louis Vuitton.

As such, on this occasion Ghesquière has fused and combined his own creative universe of colours, patterns and shapes with those coming from the work of Gaudí, as well as from Spanish culture and craftsmanship as a whole. It is these manifestations that he interprets as both genuinely contradictory and cohesive, in an authenticity that the French designer wanted to begin to transmit from the chromatic intonation of the collection. This could be seen in the use of an opposing chromatic palette dominated by confronting blacks and whites, which contrasted the subsequent browns, stone beige and glazed greys, in what seemed to be clear allusions to the materials used by Gaudí for projects such as those in these same gardens.

Beyond these colourings, as far as the design of the pieces is concerned, the collection came as the latest reinterpretation of Ghesquière's work in terms of the workmanship, patterns and volumes that he has been developing at the helm of the Vuitton house over the last ten years. It's presence in the city is particularly notable amid the ongoing sailing competition, the 37th America's Cup, for which the French fashion house is the main sponsor, a role that sees Louis Vuitton tasked with the job of creating a capsule collection to go on sale July 18.

This role was mirrored in some of the Cruise designs, many seemingly modelled on what appeared to be sails that took the form of dresses. At the same time, some looks took on the forceful geometric identity of bows and ships, while others opened up like crested waves breaking against sand, or twist in the face of a raging wind.

Louis Vuitton, Cruise 2025. Credits: Louis Vuitton.
Louis Vuitton, Cruise 2025. Credits: Louis Vuitton.

The proposal goes on to present all kinds of dresses in coat-like cuts, with architectural volumes and open lapels. Equally noteworthy are the outerwear pieces and the oversize cut combinations, whose sculptural volumes are more fluid. As a result, the collection succeeds into neo-futuristic combinations, with safari trousers and capes giving way to the more fanciful designs.

Building on this is the array of vaporous and transparent dresses with slits, and skirts decorated with a reinterpretation of the traditional "trencadis", a technique characteristic of Catalan and Valencian modernist architecture popularised by Gaudí himself. His work is further reflected in iridescent finishes, pieces bathed in organic and floral-inspired motifs, or chiselled fabrics that acquire a forceful architectural presence. The modernist lines of Gaudí's constructions come in the form of motifs that look towards the sea and the sport of sailing, with a universe of balloon dresses, puffed skirts, gathered tops and capes that rise above seas of pleats and waves, while their profiles seem take on the appearance of historic Catalan architect.

"Even more than an architect, Antoni Gaudí is like a world in himself that, even to this day, continues to come alive in the city of Barcelona," show notes from the French fashion house stated, before continuing that "the idea of a legacy in constant mutation" is something that "fits perfectly with Louis Vuitton". From this approach to Gaudí's work, and "within this incomparable architectural organism" that is the Park Güell, the brand added that "the Cruise 2025 collection is steeped in the flourishing culture of Spain", and "as a tribute to such opulent purity, the Maison's meticulous spirit embraces the passionate character of the country".

Louis Vuitton