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IF YOU ever wondered what the inside of a hot air balloon would be like Nicolas Ghesquière had the answer.

Employing American designer James Chinlund to create the set for Louis Vuitton’s spring-summer 2024 show, the pair of dreamers invited today’s biggest names to the Champs-Élysées where they transformed the historic site into the interior of a grounded, draped ballon.

Founded and centred around the notion of travelling, the very premise of Louis Vuitton is adventure – which is exactly what the creative director tapped into for SS24. Movement was vital. Colour was necessary. And excitement was a requirement.

Taking flight with Ghesquière’s famed distorted silhouettes and love of layering, quintessential Parisian elegance was disturbed with a kaleidoscope of patterns, colour blocking and contrasting material choices.

Green and red stripes were paired with monochrome checks, cowl neck silk shirts found comfort with flowy skirts, and mini skirts were matched with oversized double-breasted over-jackets.

This was a collection made to be worn as its beauty really came down to the movement of the looks. Floaty ankle-length skirts, playful volumes that transformed with every step and more traditional coats were cut at the bottom with panels that flapped open as the model walked down the runway.

Just like each design, nostalgia also added to the vital idea of transportation. Familiarity was felt through nods to the 50s and 80s that danced about ideas of more classic femininity while its details felt more contemporary pulling you back into today’s sphere.

Accessories are always important, and a priority at Louis Vuitton – SS24 was no exception. For the first time, the House styled the looks with their watches shining a light on their famed Tambour timepiece.

Less delicate pieces were their bags that were more structured and rigid than their floaty offering, debuting a range of sizes, from camera-inspired clutches to more sophisticated versions of their heralded GO-14 handbag.

While Ghesquière may have packed away his overtly disproportioned zips, buckles and belts, SS24 was lightweight, wearable and bold. This wasn’t a collection for the faint-hearted, but then again I guess those bold enough to get into a hot air balloon aren’t probably scared of wearing graphic prints.

by Imogen Clark


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