PREPARE FOR TAKE OFF

NICOLAS GHESQUIÈRE INVITES US ONCE AGAIN TO TAKE OFF INTO THE FUTURE, AS LOUIS VUITTON HOST THEIR RESORT 2020 COLLECTION IN THE NEW SPACE-AGE-INSPIRED, TWA HOTEL IN NYC.

THE SET-UP

As far as iconic show locations go, Louis Vuitton landed safely by taking guests on a first-class trip to the much-hyped new TWA Hotel, located in the famous former TWA Flight Centre in New York City. Looming over the outskirts of JFK Airport, the famous alien-like piece of mid-century architecture was constructed in 1962 by Eero Saatinen but was abandoned after the airline went bust in 2001. It was also Ghesquière’s first impression of New York when he visited in 1991. “I landed here one trip,” he explained backstage. “I always remember the place, here, this terminal. Arriving to this fantastic city…and at the same time, at this masterpiece of architecture.” In contrast to the location’s concrete and chrome interiors, the retro space was decorated with luscious, green plants as the models walked across a bridge high above the seating, and then descended down a staircase and wove between the VIP guests.

THE INSPIRATION

Nicolas Ghesquière often uses his venues as reference points when it comes to his mid-season shows. For Resort 2020, the creative director looked to the nostalgia of air travel to reinvent the future; the show took place at the newly-opened TWA Hotel in New York. Stewardess dresses and accessories reminiscent of flight bags revived the glamorous heyday of Trans World Airlines (before it was acquired and became defunct by American Airlines in 2001), while Elizabethan puff sleeves, 1980s bubble skirts and 1990s board shorts proved that the designer is openminded when it comes to being inspired by past decades.

THE ACCESSORIES

Mini Chrysler Building -shaped bags were cute, but what caught everyone’s attention was Ghesquière’s videoscreen handbags. The futuristic accessory, called the ‘Canvas of the Future’ were a prototype for the runway and fitted with flexible screens made from AMOLED technology, the LED lights found in some smartphones. The aim, according to the brand, is to eventually blur the lines between your phone and your bag.

THE CLOTHES

Ghesquière continued his love affair with the Eighties and futurism for Resort 2020 with a tough Superhero-esqe collection of intricate separates. The cape was hero here, as the creative director designed structured versions over pleated pants and soft caplets attached to leather jackets. Art Deco-inspired brocades, embroideries and prints also revived Ghesquière’s interest in Renaissance but with a touch of the Eighties in the form of structured shoulders and micro miniskirts. There was also the NYC-skyline embroidered on the back of biker jackets. “As a French guy, I have no problem to go with the cliché of New York,” Ghesquière easily admitted.

(Sophie Turner, Joe Jonas, Willow Smith at Louis Vuitton Cruise 2020 Fashion Show on May 8, 2019 in New York City) and right (Karlie Kloss at Louis Vuitton Cruise 2020 Fashion Show on May 8, 2019 in New York City), both by Gotham/FilmMagic,
THE AFTER-PARTY

After the show, the VIP crowd made their way to Queens, Long Island where the MoMA PS1 (one of the largest art institutions in the US dedicated solely to contemporary art) hosted an after-party. Held outside in the museum’s courtyard, guests wandered through the galleries where current exhibitions from artists included Zheng Guogu and Edgar Heap of Birds were showing, with champagne in hand and catering from NYC favorites, including Roberta’s pizza, The Meatball Shop, Shake Shack and Milk Bar.

“I ALWAYS REMEMBERED THE PLACE, HERE, THIS TERMINAL. ARRIVING TO THIS FANTASTIC CITY…AND [SEEING] THIS MASTERPIECE OF ARCHITECTURE”

NICOLAS GHESQUIÈRE

THE GUEST LIST

Those flying on the 2,000-strong guest list included Louis Vuitton faces Sophie Turner and new husband, Joe Jonas (who were passing through on the way to their honeymoon), Emma Stone, Alicia Vikander, Julianne Moore, Jennifer Connelly and Willow Smith, as well as a host of New York VIPs including Tracy Morgan, Ruth Negga, iconic popstar Robyn and Cate Blanchett.

THE SOUNDTRACK

In line with Ghesquière’s fascination with futurism, models weaved around the crowd to the beat of music from Japanese video game composer, Nobuo Uematsu. The track was from the soundtrack to video game, Final Fantasy VIII, before synthesized and “hyperkinetic” Scottish producer, SOPHIE provided the finale walk accompaniment.

END OF STORY