News & Runway

Thought the Louis Vuitton Cruise Collection Was Kind of Ugly? That’s What Nicolas Ghesquière Wants You to Think

Malaika Firth for Louis Vuitton Cruise Collection 2015 0 Nicolas Ghesquiere

Image: Getty

The first order of fashion business for this fine Monday morning: former Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquière showed his Louis Vuitton Cruise 2015 collection in Monaco on Saturday night. This is his second collection for the house.

No, it's not Fashion Week — but it's no accident that this season's most famous luxury brands (Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton) have staged extravagant runway shows this season; they might not have the same level of mainstream recognition, but resort collections typically outsell the ready-to-wear ranges by large margins.

“Cruise is our most important collection,” Louis Vuitton's CEO Michael Burke told The Independent fashion critic Alexander Fury, explaining why the luxury house had elected to stage its cruise collection as a runway show for the first time ever. “It's everybody's biggest collection.” 

But considering the commercial significance of Cruise, Ghesquière opted to show a surprisingly challenging collection. (You can watch a recast of the show's livestream over on Style.com or check out the runway photos in the tFS forum thread.) Strong, standout separates (like neon yellow python jacket in a sharp cut) mixed with ultra-feminine pieces in muted pastels (like cotton candy pink pants). The bizarre jumble of Seventies references earned praise from fashion critics but had some forum members a little confused.

"I can't get over how seriously unappealing the colours and prints used throughout the collection are, in a way resembling an eclectic Prada-esque sense of 'bad taste.' I miss the cool, urban restraint that made Nicolas' Balenciaga feel modern… this, I'm afraid, is looking rather 'old' to me," said tricotineacetat.

In its write-up of the show, WWD asked Ghesquière about the "jarring effects" of the collection, who explained that he had intended to shock the senses and that he designed with the intention to move fashion forward:

“What is interesting is to see things that can appear offbeat or surprising or perhaps even ugly will eventually make mentalities evolve, and suddenly they can become a benchmark and then you move on to something else. It’s not up to me anyway to say what exactly constitutes good taste or bad taste. I like to shake things up and make them clash. Some of the colors here were very new for me and quite surprising, which I like. It opens the eye and prepares the viewer perhaps for what will follow, which could be a return to all-black. That’s often how it works.”

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