By Crash redaction

Last Friday, handpicked editors, buyers, stylists and very important clients embarked on something of a fashion journey, a road trip, on the occasion of three luxury houses unveiling their cruise collections. The trip started in Chantilly where the Christian Dior show took place, then progressed to Saint-Paul-de-Vence for Louis Vuitton and finally ended in Arles in front of the breathtaking Gucci runway on Wednesday. Three powerful visions of contemporary women, three takes on cruisewear, three adventurous designers who know how to make a statement.

© Frank Perrin

For her Christian Dior cruise 2019 collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri continued exploring figures of strong independent women, this time shifting her focus on Amazons, a tribe of women warriors from the Greek mythology, and escaramuzas, the Mexican equivalent. Opening the show were amazing horseback riders trotting under the pouring rain, a fitting introduction for what was to come. Overall the collection had a strong equestrian feel with riding hats and boots, beige double-breasted blazers and hair slicked back in a ponytail. With long tulle skirts, oversized white shirts and a huge double buckle belt cinching everything in, models had the elegance of a Spanish femme fatale. Undoubtedly feminine while pertaining a certain masculine assurance and presence. Other key element was the toile de Jouy which was revisited on jackets, coats and pants and twisted with drawn wild animals. Accessories included large sombrero hats, black ties and suede gloves.

© Frank Perrin

The Louis Vuitton cruise show was presented at the Maeght foundation in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, a site with a unique architecture which celebrates contemporary and modern art since 1964. With artworks by renown artists such as Joan Miro, Fernand Léger, Georges Braque, Marc Chagall or Alberto Giacometti, the Louis Vuitton collection was bound to be creative, bold and arty. Before the show, the guests got to see a concert by French musician Woodkid who brought with him instruments created by the Baschet brothers. Nicolas Ghesquière signed, once again, a collection that women will be dying to wear once it hits the stores. Silhouettes seemed mismatched at first glance but proved to be working perfectly in the end. Just like real wardrobes, pieces are made to be twisted and paired with unexpected garments. Guests were pleasantly surprised to see cute little cat clutches on the runway, the result of a collaboration with Grace Coddington who famously loves drawing the feline creatures. The it-piece of the collection which will have everyone buzzing was, without a doubt, the leather thigh-high boots with a futuristic sneaker sole. Keep an eye out for those. The day ended on a party at the Eden Roc under the rain.

© Frank Perrin

The trip ended in the most glorious way, in front of the mesmerizing Gucci resort show. The scene was set in a graveyard in Alyscamps with a magnificent medieval church in the background. With candles burning, smoke and a choir and church bells soundtrack, it looked like a satanic mass was ready to begin. Inspired by esoteric symbols and the afterlife, Alessandro Michele’s cruise wear was mysterious and dark. Ossuaries, crypts and monks, crosses everywhere from necklaces to clasps, religious elements were disseminated throughout the looks. Long flowy velvet dresses and capes seemed to hide a secret while other models looked like fortune-tellers dressed in layers upon layers of mismatched prints and patterns. It wasn’t all pitch black though as Michele never stays too close to a specific theme. An austere church goer, a heavy metal rock star, a haunted widow, a dandy, a high school jock… You could just about meet every kind of personality with the exception that all the lines were blurred. A model walked down with a varsity jacket, a preppy polo and hot pink zebra skinny jeans. The upper and lower body could send totally different messages. Michele mixes decades, subcultures and traditions with ease, further proving that our generation is just starting to digest trends of the 20th century. Gucci invited Sir Elton John for a private concert at Maia Hoffman’s place and finished off the night with a memorable party.


Written by Alice Butterlin.

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