Just a month after an exhilarating Pre-Fall 2023 collection in Seoul, South Korea, Nicolas Ghesquière, the creative genius behind Louis Vuitton, transports fashion enthusiasts to a mesmerizing realm with the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2024 show at the enchanting Lake Maggiore in Italy. This event marks a significant milestone for the French fashion house as it showcases its first-ever runway in the neighboring country, a fitting choice given the recent appointment of Italian CEO Pietro Beccari.

Lake Maggiore, the unassuming neighbor of the glamorous Lake Como, lies amidst the vast Swiss Alps, boasting a captivating allure distinct from the vibrant coastlines of Amalfi. Ghesquière describes Italy’s Northern lakes as possessing an enigmatic beauty, stating, “There are beautiful places to go in Italy, but the lakes are so mysterious.”

Originally planned to be hosted within the picturesque gardens of Isola Bella, a tiny private island with a 500-year history under the ownership of the Borromeo family, the show faced an unexpected obstacle—inclement weather. While rain hindered the possibility of a sunset extravaganza and afterparty, the resourceful LV team swiftly adapted, organizing an indoor runway presentation instead. Under one roof, fashion icons such as Catherine Deneuve, Oprah Winfrey, and Cate Blanchett, alongside approximately 1,000 other esteemed guests, witnessed the spectacle unfold.

As the initial looks glided down the impromptu runway, Ghesquière’s choice of a waterside venue became evident. Models adorned in gill ruffs, fin-inspired fluted hems, neoprene ensembles, and water droplet embellishments personified water-born creatures. “We started with the idea that the girls were coming from the water, like mermaids of the lake, and they’re transforming into something else,” explained the visionary creative director, encapsulating his inspiration.

However, instead of adhering to the conventional designs associated with mythical sirens, Ghesquière pushes the boundaries of imagination, envisioning a world where lagoon creatures not only exist but exude unwavering strength. The show progressed, unveiling undertones of sci-fi athleisure and pronounced aquatic motifs. Firm fabrics gradually yielded to intricate shapes, scales arranged in floral patterns, and impeccably tailored garments. Footwear options ranged from slouched boots to sporty sneakers, but the true highlights of the accessories were the baroque headgear, individually crafted by a Roman atelier renowned for its contributions to operas and films.

The culmination was a romantic odyssey in which mermaids rise from the depths of the lake, carve their own path, and ultimately flourish—a narrative eloquently reflected in the closing looks comprising seven ethereal ruffled dresses. Constructed from a fusion of silk, organza, and lace, these pastel-hued gowns deviated from Ghesquière’s customary unisex approach to design. The creative genius left his unmistakable mark through the sculptural silhouettes, each piece uniquely draped to evoke a profound impact as the models graced the runway.

Watch the full show on: