The country: Brazil
The city: Rio de Janeiro
The place: The Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum,
designed by the famous architect Oscar Niemeyer in 1996
The Maison Louis Vuitton has gone tropical with the Cruise 2017 collection, taking the French art of living to Brazil, whose environmental utopia, offers the ideal backdrop. The collection was presented in the grounds of the Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum, where architect Oscar Niemeyer has harmonised the paradox of civilisation versus the natural. After all, doesn’t the word utopia reflect a desire to create innovation? Signifying fantasy, it seamlessly connects with the language of fashion.
Brazilian idealism and Rio de Janeiro are the starting point for the collection, which captures the country’s vitality, energy, multiculturalism, freedom, urban futurism and romanticism — all the dynamic feeling the city inspires.
Dresses with a streamlined spirit illustrate a new aerodynamic silhouette. Slashed stripes on trousers lengthen the silhouette. Luxuriously embroidered skirts appear to have been wrapped in haste, in the manner of a beach towel. Tech-thongs and neoprene sneakers speak of a heroine who is constantly on the move. As she passes through the museum’s curving corridors, heads turn in her wake. Right down to her ghettoblaster trunk that brings a musical nod to the Maison’s know-how.
The 2017 Cruise collection also pays homage to two major Brazilian artists: Helio Oiticica and Aldemar Martins.
Helio Oiticica was a pioneer of the Neo-Concrete movement and an explorer of space through painting. His three-dimensional works demonstrate a bodily experimentation with colour. Notably, his “clothes of light”, tent canvas and parachute fabric transformed into capes and dresses, become a place where the body can move freely. Creative Director, Nicolas Ghesquière, picks up on the principle of lightness: parkas unfold like kites, while taffeta cape-dresses seem to be anticipating the wind to rise.
Aldemir Martins, an artist renowned for his paintings of flora and fauna, represented the vibrancy of his native region, the Nordeste. Impassioned by Brazilian popular culture, and notably football, he paid tribute to Pelé in one of his most famous paintings, “A Fera” (1969). On the Maison’s classics, Nicolas Ghesquière has reprised Martins’ print from the famous Rhodia collection.