Unfolding in the serenity of Miho Museum in Kyoto, Japan, Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2018 show saw Mad Max taking on the concrete jungle. A cacophony of influences went down the runway from tumble-weed cowboy boots and Japanese armour, to Nicholas Ghesquière’s signature leather paneling and use of neoprene and bubble-silhouettes, both adapted from the designer’s Balenciaga days.
A primitive element of leopard and zebra patterns were present in both the clothing and the accessories, but were quickly contrasted with futuristic metallic lurex dresses and clear PVC boots. These loud statement fabrics are brought back to Earth, styled with corporate and oh-so-on-trend blue and white striped shirts – rendering the ensemble aspirationally wearable and believable as an everyday look.
There was, of course, merit to the show being staged in Japan, far away from the brand’s Parisian headquarters. Hot off the heels of Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Jeff Koons last month, the brand is no stranger to the power and influence of a good collab. This time, they enlisted the genius of Japanese fashion legend Kansai Yamamoto, who created traditional Japanese paintings rendered in jacquard and kabuki graphics brought to life in sequins (with the monogram incorporated, of course).
The Japanese design concept was taken to a stunning new level with Samurai-worthy garments in handcrafted leather, rope and beading akin to armour; finishing off the spectacle with a few balloon-tailored pieces in collegiate stripes, sheer layered dresses, and a tweed ensemble. The offerings span much wider than any singular influence, as there were surely many. It can be interpreted as the voyage of a cavewoman who has stumbled into the Japanese Age of the Samurai, who later finds herself in the metropolis and has to integrate into modern culture. What’s your take on this journey?