Over the past decade, it’s become commonplace for designer cruise collections to be presented in some pretty exotic locales. This season alone, those spots have included the Musei Capitolini in Rome and the El Badi Palace in Marrakesh. But rarely are these lines, which arrive in stores in November just in time for winter getaway season, presented in the space where most of us begin our seasonal escape: the airport.
For its cruise 2020 line, Louis Vuitton changed that, though the space the brand chose for its show wasn’t your average terminal. Last May, just as it was about to reopen as New York’s latest destination hotel, the Trans World Airlines building at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens opened its arrivals and departures hall to the international caravan of editors, influencers, celebrities and customers who spend a lot of time up in the air chasing the latest fashion.
“I was lucky enough to have landed at the TWA Flight Center in the late nineties. It was something I could never forget,” said Nicolas Ghesquière, LV’s creative director. “This place was forgotten for 20 years, and now has come back to life.” In the past, Ghesquière has presented cruise collections at Rio de Janeiro’s Museu de Arte Contemporaneo de Niteroi and the Miho Museum outside of Kyoto. Landing at the Eero Saarinen-designed TWA space maintains a tradition of highlighting the influence of mid-century architecture in the clothing and accessories he creates.
This being New York, those design references looked even further back than the Jet Age. The spires and facades of Manhattan’s Art-Deco skyscrapers were captured in the shapes of handbags and the intricacy of the clothing’s gilt brocades and embroidered capes. Overall, the collection channelled the retrofuturism of films such as Metropolis and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, where a century’s worth of ideas about what the world – and our wardrobes – might look like overlap to glamorous effect.
ON THE FLY
The Louis Vuitton collection’s accessories capture elements of 1930s New York and jet-age futurism.
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