5 elements from Louis Vuitton's cruise 2018 collection the 'Japanophile' will love

5 elements from Louis Vuitton's cruise 2018 collection the 'Japanophile' will love

Brushstrokes of Japan

Text: Andrea Sim

Bento boxes, Kabuki masks, and traditional wallpapers lend themselves to the maison's cruise collection

Disclaimer: The following excludes an appreciation for tank-to-table sashimi and the best ramen bowls in Tokyo. Instead, it spotlights Japan's inimitable art forms and antiquity, a marked influence in Louis Vuitton's cruise 2018 collection. 

Unveiled on a poetic runway at Kyoto's Miho Museum back in May, the season read like a history lesson on the Japanese way of life and its accompanying mise en scène — what with Kabuki masks, samurai armour, and traditional interior finishings lending their beauty to the maison's savoir faire.

Ahead of the collection's launch in stores, we take a closer look at five ways the country inspired creative director Nicolas Ghèsquire for cruise 2018. 


Louis Vuitton cruise 2018
Louis Vuitton's bags are hardly an after-thought but, the core of a collection. After all, the maison we know today was born of trunks used for travel in the days of yore. Such synergy is not lost on Ghèsquire, who borrowed a key motif from the way in which the Japanese transport their food — in bento boxes. The namesake bag (Bento) was crafted to recall the vertical rectangular body and short handle of its inspiration. 


Louis Vuitton cruise 2018

Beyond Tokyo's neon lights lies a country's scenery that has moved countless of individuals and played subject to innumerable songs, poems, and cinematography. Louis Vuitton is no exception. The key prints from cruise 2018's ready-to-wear features Japanese-style scenery, including the above titled 'Storm', executed in embroidery on a pair of trousers. 


Louis Vuitton cruise 2018

The collection leaves no stone unturned, offering a look into the interior decoration of traditional Japanese homes. Wallpaper prints cast their likeness on tops (as layered under in the look above) woven in shimmery patchwork to mimic the rich textures of its influence. 


The Kabuki theatre is the collection's most palpable influence, surfacing via iconography popularised by David Bowie's costume designer Kansaï Yamamoto, and reintepreted on sequin-drenched dresses (image 3). The face masks also rears its head on accessories, appliquéd on bag flaps, and printed in 'patches' on the Speedy — the latter's design a reference to the stickers commonly seen plastered on travel trunks.


5 elements from Louis Vuitton's cruise 2018 collection the 'Japanophile' will love (фото 1)

Just as no narrative on Japanese history is complete without a chapter on Samurais, Ghèsquire's collection too, spotlights the detailing of the warrior's garments throughout the collection. Case in point: The pleating and whipstitch on cruise 2018's Alma top handle bear resemblance to the portions that cover the Samurai's shoulders (sode) and lower body (kusazuri). 

Discover the full Louis Vuitton cruise 2018 collection