From Kabuki To Keikogi: Louis Vuitton’s Show In Kyoto Packed Plenty of Punchby Team Yoyokulala
When something can be referenced in a subtle manner, yet the eye is still able to point out the subtleties by the second glance, then that’s truly some fashion sleight of hand. On Sunday at the cusp of twilight, Louis Vuitton staged a power packed Cruise 2018 show at Kyoto’s Miho Museum, a stunning piece of architecture flanked on all sides by thick, green forest. There’s no question that the best seats in the house were those at the front row, but judging from the shots taken by Louis Vuitton’s drones, the view from the top as the models streamed down the length of the museum in two rows was quite a sight to behold.
The references to Japanese culture were, to some degree, obvious, but in no way predictable. That is, of course, a good thing. There were the embellished Kabuki bags and dresses, the work of Kansai Yamamoto, the Japanese designer who was not only behind some of David Bowie’s most legendary looks, but also credited for paving the way for Japanese designers in France. Having such a luminary to be a part of Louis Vuitton, a French house, is not only clever, but also respectful.
When you’ve got Nicolas Ghesquiere around, there will be bold and architectural silhouettes. This season’s top-heavy shapes paid homage to the keikogi (the Japanese uniform worn in martial arts) and amour worn by ancient Japanese warriors. Paired with the show’s fierce Kabuki makeup, the models looked plenty ready to kick some ass. Ghesquiere’s other inspirations erred on the intellectual – the paintings of Hokusai and the cinematographic works of Takeshi Kitano and Akira Kurosawa. Gold, a colour frequently used in Japanese Noh theatres, was translated into partly sheer metallic dresses that looked almost regal.
As if all that wasn’t enough, Ghesquiere found a way to weave just slight elements of the Wild West into the collection in the form of patchwork cowboy jackets and boots. Was Ghesquiere aware of the magnificent feat that he and his team had accomplished? From the boyish smile he gave and the two-step strides he took up the stairs as he made his exit, we’d like to think so.
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