For the past few seasons, it’s been a strange game that’s been repeated during each Paris Fashion Week: hordes of fans are waiting feverishly in front of the parade grounds for their idols of K-pop, this Korean musical genre made up of groups of young boys or girls – the Black Pink, BTS or even Enhypen – proving the indisputable strike force of the country of Matin-Calme when it comes to teaming up with the world of luxury.
With 52 million inhabitants, South Korea is indeed one of the most active Asian markets for the sector: according to the expert firm Morgan Stanley, spending on luxury goods by South Koreans has thus increased by 24% in 2022, reaching $16.8 billion. It is therefore not surprising that the house of Louis Vuitton chose to present its very first fashion show pre-fall – understand, a mid-season collection – in Seoul, on the evening of April 29.
Nicolas Ghesquière, artistic director of the brand’s women’s collections since 2013, presented his collection on the emblematic Jamsugyo bridge, which spans the Hangang River. A parade that The world followed from Paris. “I am happy that the very first fashion show pre-fall of Louis Vuitton takes place in the vibrant capital of Seoul, the scene of Nicolas Ghesquière’s creative vision for this collection. Seoul is a cultural center towards which all eyes converge. This capital shares with Louis Vuitton a pioneering spirit, a desire to reinvent creativity, to encourage know-how”commented Pietro Beccari, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton.
By interposed screen, the effect is quite grandiose: traffic has not been cut off on the upper level of this monumental two-storey bridge and the very dense flow of vehicles shows the frenzy of this economic capital. Built in 1976, the Jamsugyo Bridge has the particularity of being submersible, which frequently happens during periods of heavy rain. ” It is a feat of civil engineering that creates the illusion of disappearance/appearance. Just like the jets of water that transform it into a giant fountain, a sort of liquid rainbow. He is a living monument to Seoulians. He is also a real fictional character, very present in many films. It is a place of passage that is quite inspiring to set up a parade, a real podium »comments Nicolas Ghesquière.
Transmuted meshes and cracked vinyls
Directed by South Korean director Hwang Dong-hyeok, recently acclaimed for Squid Game, one of the most-watched Netflix series of 2021, the parade took place on the lower deck. It is therefore a podium of more than 700 meters that forty-six models walked on, their hair blowing in the wind – which is blowing very hard! South Korean actress and model Jung Ho-yeon, seen in Squid Games and muse of the house since 2021, opened the ball, wearing a studded black leather trapeze skirt and a blue zipped jacket. On her feet, she wears impressive black boots with exaggerated volume, which can be found in different versions throughout the collection.
Jumpsuits cut from soft vinyl followed, biker-style jackets, leather pants worn low on the waist, loose jackets associated with small leather skirts or even colorful and striped suits. The combinations of materials are distilled throughout the collection. “We challenge techniques, we transform materials, it’s one of my favorite exercises. There are a lot of transmuted knits, cracked vinyls, crepe wools, tweed effects, stretch twills, faux furs or embroideries that become flower prints.”explains the artistic director.
We also find in this collection themes dear to Nicolas Ghesquière and intrinsically linked to the Vuitton house: the black and white checkerboard is transposed on small fitted dresses or loose pants, jumpsuits worn very close to the body breathe a dimension science fiction , just like the geometric prints found on sweaters or dresses. “There are also elements related to sport of course, which has always been one of my favorite inspirations, combined with French classicism. We worked on vagueness in a comfort aspect and evening clothes with a casual side. For this first time in Seoul, it’s a way of presenting what we know how to make, like a kind of diplomatic trip, the Louis Vuitton caravanserai which comes to South Korea to tell the chapters of its history »adds Nicolas Ghesquière.
A story that the house hopes will last with the country. This parade marks the kick-off of a strategic partnership between Vuitton, the metropolis of Seoul and the Korean National Tourist Office. The house says it is committed to preserving the natural resources of the Hangang River, improving its biodiversity and raising awareness on the subject among readers of its city-guide dedicated to Seoul. ” This partnership is the perfect opportunity to share with the world the beauty of Hangang, a tourist spot symbolizing the infinite potential of Seoul.”said Kim Eui-seung, deputy mayor of metropolitan Seoul. Between Louis Vuitton and Seoul, the story has only just begun.