Louis Vuitton: Cruise 2023

It’s said that “any trip to San Diego is shore to please the soul,” and don’t Louis Vuitton know it. On Thursday evening Pacific time, Nicolas Ghesquière resumed his annual exploration of modernist monuments around the world. His first Cruise show post-pandemic took place at San Diego’s Salk Institute, a brutalist fortress devoted to biological studies (such as vaccines) named for the American biologist Jonas Salk and designed by Louis Khan. Along the water stream flowing towards the ocean between the two wings of the institute – as the sun was setting on the Californian horizon – Ghesquière presented a collection suspended between the sea and the desert. “All the bright colours and spray paints are inspired by jet skis and kites and things we associate with beach life, and all the linens and wools are about this nomadic future,” he said backstage.

The Salk’s monastic surroundings amplified the impact of futuristic monk-like silhouettes in earthy colours contrasted by high-tech metallic gold, copper and changeant silver elements like something out of Dune. It was a study in nature, science and technology epitomised by Lauren Wasser’s golden legs and the skateboards Ghesquiére snuck in mid-show in looks best described as Avril Lavigne meets the Obi Wan Kenobi. The show was a suitably epic return to the destination cruise format, with a location that made perfect sense. As Ghesquiére said, “It’s a place that works for the future of a better humanity. It’s just so inspiring.”

Photography courtesy of Louis Vuitton. 

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