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Louis Vuitton flexes royal muscles with cruise wear in Monaco

Models present creations by French designer Nicolas Ghesquiere for fashion house Louis Vuitton during their fashion show in Monaco, May 17, 2014. (REUTERS/Jean-Pierre Amet)

MONACO: Louis Vuitton flexed its royal muscles over the weekend, decamping from Paris to Monaco for a colorful, ’60s-infused “resort” collection that trumpeted the age-old case maker’s links with the ruling Grimaldi family.

The occasion was perhaps a welcome distraction for Prince Albert.

It’s been a tough week after Nicole Kidman’s controversial film “Grace of Monaco” premiered at the nearby Cannes Film Festival four days ago. The Olivier Dahan film left the Grimaldi prince angry for what he publicly claimed misrepresented his mother, Grace Kelly, the icy blond Hitchcock film star-turned-princess.

Stylist Carine Roitfeld and other fashion insiders who had flown in from all corners of the globe, stood as the prince and his stunning wife, Princess Charlene, entered the glass encased show venue in the palace – shadowed by the Alps and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Travelling, as some did, nearly 6,400 kilometers for a fashion show that lasted a mere 15 minutes – is a decadent luxury afforded by few. But those who did were probably pleased: The new Louis Vuitton designer Nicolas Ghesquiere’s second showing for the house was, mostly, a success.

The rare mid-season “resort” shows that are shown by only a handful of the world’s fashion power houses – were conceived to target wealthy women who travel on cruise ships in the winter. Here, Ghesquiere celebrated the aquatic in the show decor, with floor paneling that looked like a rocks in water. In the same vein, a barrier reef-type palette infused the collection with bright blues, canary yellows and coral reds alongside colorful watery, marbled patterns in silk skirts.

But the overarching idea was that of the ’60s.

Skirt suits, a retro invention if ever there were one, came in vivid foulard style. But this was overly heavy-handed.

Elsewhere, in black and white hoop prints, it worked better: nicely evoking ’60s icon Mary Quant. Miniskirts bounced and finished at the upper thigh. And one sublime coat dress in pale yellow sported a bias-cut flounce that could have been designed by Courreges (and worn by Twiggy).

But beyond the fashion, Louis Vuitton – the world’s most lucrative design house – was also flexing its muscles here in the fiefdom of the Monegasque royalty.

The house noted to guests that it was in 1904 when Louis Vuitton first served Monaco’s royal family, creating travel cases in crocodile skin. Ever since, its fame has only grown in making travel cases for the fashion-conscious who grace Monaco.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 20, 2014, on page 13.

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Summary

Louis Vuitton flexed its royal muscles over the weekend, decamping from Paris to Monaco for a colorful, '60s-infused "resort" collection that trumpeted the age-old case maker's links with the ruling Grimaldi family.

Those who did were probably pleased: The new Louis Vuitton designer Nicolas Ghesquiere's second showing for the house was, mostly, a success.

Beyond the fashion, Louis Vuitton – the world's most lucrative design house – was also flexing its muscles here in the fiefdom of the Monegasque royalty.

The house noted to guests that it was in 1904 when Louis Vuitton first served Monaco's royal family, creating travel cases in crocodile skin.


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