Louis Vuitton’s latest collection is a nod to the stylistic vitality of China’s youth

As models descended the runway in China’s Long Museum, it was nostalgia that took centre stage.

Though it’s been ten years since Nicolas Ghesquière started his tenure at Louis Vuitton, it’s last week’s “Voyage” collection that feels like a landmark contribution of the French designer. The Prefall 2024 collection demonstrates Ghesquière’s ardent dedication to harking back: there’s daring pops of colour, homages to the style cues of Chinese youth, and echoes of earlier designs slipped in there for the eagle-eyed Vuitton fans. Think utilitarian silhouettes with oversized animal graphics and their distinctive emblems with the addition of cutesy leather appliques. It was in the world of accessories, in fact, where the “Voyage” collection found its focus — the structured bags making their way down the runway recount the innovation behind Vuitton’s iconic trunks and luggage. 

Though Vuitton has taken inspiration from the natural world before – back in 2018, their collaboration with Grace Coddington saw them emblazon bags and blankets with our feline friends – this time round, the collection’s animal-centric flair is a result of young contemporary artist Sun Yitian. Known for her photorealistic paintings of toys and mass-produced objects, the collaboration between herself and the fashion house feels like a Louis Vuitton that’s unbound from any constraints on tone and form. As the show notes highlighted, there’s an emphasis on the idea of contrast too: “Oppositional prints make for happy marriages”, it reads. “Short confronts long […] Classicism goes tangential, giving outfits a charming zeal.” 

The collection was presented at the Long Museum – founded by husband-and-wife collectors Mr. Liu Yiqian and Ms. Wang Wei – the latest private museum in China. Synonymous with its elongated funnel shape, the Long Museum holds traditional, modern and contemporary Chinese art. With a venue so prestigious and a collection this evocative, it’s of no surprise that the “Voyage” presentation attracted the likes of LV ambassadors like Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Connelly and Chloë Grace Moretz. 

WriterAmber Rawlings
Banner Image CreditLouis Vuitton