In total, Louis Vuitton revealed 56 looks during its cruise 2023 runway show in La Jolla. PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON
Metallic apparel ruled the runway, seen here in look 51 PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON
Storied French fashion house Louis Vuitton (louisvuitton.com) chose La Jolla’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies (salk.edu) to reveal its cruise 2023 collection. Here’s your look inside the invite-only extravaganza.
Louis Vuitton’s iconic motif gets a futuristic update PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON
For its cruise 2022 presentation, Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of women’s collections—the forward-thinking Nicolas Ghesquière—sashayed runway models under the arches of The Red Gateway at Axe Majeur, a breathtaking installation in the northwest Parisian suburb of Cergy-Pointoise. The location was a fitting one for the luxury French fashion house that was founded in the nearby City of Lights in 1854. Fast-forward to spring this year, and for Ghesquière’s cruise 2023 collection, it was another sculptural landmark that served as the House of Vuitton’s illustrious backdrop. Enter San Diego’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies, a monolithic concrete structure designed by Louis Kahn, with architecture by Jack MacAllister, that debuted in 1965.
Artist and friend of the House Lous and the Yakuza opened the show PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON
Hopping the pond, Ghesquière brought together the world’s fashion titans for a spectacular sunset runway show overlooking the Pacific. To make the magic happen, Louis Vuitton’s elite team took over numerous properties across America’s Finest City—Pendry San Diego and Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, among them—to house the myriad celebrities, influencers, editors and more who made up the elite invite-only guest list. On behalf of the Modern Luxury San Diego team, I was lucky enough to receive the golden ticket along with Modern Luxury’s VP of Fashion and Creative Director James Aguiar. Prior to taking our seats on expansive concrete benches that were brought in for the occasion, the scene was a who’s who of Vuitton VIPs and luxe locals, like Rancho Valencia owner Jeff Jacobs and Lawless Beauty founder and CEO Annie Lawless Jacobs.
Phoebe Dynevor. PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON
Among the star-studded crowd that descended upon San Diego were: Vogue icons Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington; Bridgerton’s Phoebe Dynevor; Euphoria’s Maude Apatow and her mother, actress Leslie Mann, and sister, actress Iris Apatow; No Time to Die’s Ana de Armas; supermodel Miranda Kerr; equestrian and model Eve Jobs, daughter of the late Steve Jobs; and filmmaker and producer Ava DuVernay. The sightings continued with Gemma Chan, Emma Roberts, Chloë Grace Moretz, Léa Seydoux, Renate Reinsve, Samara Weaving, Urassaya Sperbund and Louis Vuitton’s latest brand ambassador, Deepika Padukone, who all found their place to the sound of La Jolla’s rolling waves as the golden hour arrived.
Louis Vuitton’s iconic Dauphine bag arrives in new colorways PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON
As the lights went up to illuminate Salk’s striking concrete expanse, which runs between multiple biophilic tiered towers, the soundtrack by ’70s-era band Sparks thumped to life as models emerged from myriad focal points. Three oversize gowns, flowing with metallic-flecked threads, opened the 13-minute show, giving way to a parade of post-apocalyptic looks. Street style met the sands of Dune with draped silhouettes, sharp-lined shoulders, thick-soled sneakers and even skateboard decks bearing Louis Vuitton’s signature monogramming. But because this is French fashion, the glamour was certainly not forgotten. Knee-high boots sparkled with sequins in shades of silver, yellow and red; leather jackets and pants marveled in metallic gold and silver; and exaggerated crop tops glimmered with fringe that brought new meaning to the term bold shoulder. The faces on the runway equally drew attention, with names ranging from catwalk veterans Julia Nobis and Sasha Pivovarova to Olympians Dalilah Muhammad (track and field) and Eileen Gu (skiing) to double amputee Lauren Wasser, who stunned in a silver leather look featuring shorts that displayed her gold prosthetic legs.
Euphoria star Maude Apatow PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON
The collection also revealed a first look at Louis Vuitton’s second collaboration with Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama, whose colorful dots were seen dancing across a handful of leather goods during the show. The creations mark the 10-year anniversary of the artist’s first collection for the brand, and forecast what’s to come in January 2023, when the full line—that will touch all categories of the maison’s offerings—is revealed. To close the show, Ghesquière took a walk of his own, waving to the awe-inspired crowd.
Showstopping leather boots. PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON
Following the fashion show, attendees were escorted to La Jolla’s Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego to indulge in passed appetizers, premium sips, tunes spun by rotating DJs and complimentary Louis Vuitton pashminas to stay warm as the ocean breeze blew off the shore below. Yes, San Diego is certainly on the map—just ask the House of Vuitton.
Actress Leslie Mann, Apatow’s mother PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON
Look 9 was highlighted by an LV-patterned skateboard deck PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON
A first look at Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON
Ava DuVernay. PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON
Supermodel Miranda Kerr PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON
Actress and fashionista Gemma Chan PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON
Double amputee Lauren Wasser shined in silver PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON
The metallic parade continued with reflective bags and boots. PHOTO COURTESY OF LOUIS VUITTON