July 25, 2024

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Louis Vuitton honors Barcelona architect Antoni Gaudi in its Cruise 2025 collection

Louis Vuitton honors Barcelona architect Antoni Gaudi in its Cruise 2025 collection

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Louis Vuitton unveiled its latest couture designs in Barcelona’s Parc Güell on Thursday, infusing the clothes with drama to finally match Antoni Gaudí’s architectural masterpiece.

Nicolas Ghesquière’s ambitions for the Parisian house’s 2025 Cruise collection were revealed to an elite crowd, including actresses Ana de Armas, Jennifer Connelly and Saoirse Ronan.

Louis Vuitton typically unveils its ready-to-wear collections in the French capital, choosing exotic and eye-catching locations for its touring collections.

Where tourists walk around daily in T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops, the UNESCO World Heritage site was for one night home to sophisticated clothing mixed with earth tones that are at once organic yet ethereal.

Models made their way through the 86 Doric columns that occupy a domed square in the center of the park that overlooks Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea in the distance.

Ghesquière was inspired by Gaudí’s “legacy of constant boom” and Spain’s rich artistic heritage, the show notes said.

“As if to pay homage to this sumptuous purity, the maison’s austere spirit embraces the sentimental character of country,” the notes read. “The enthusiasm of her colors, her loyalty to tradition rise to the level of artistic expression, dark and light that never seem contradictory.”

Dramatic silhouettes contrasted with the soft curves of Gaudí’s organic structures, which were then reflected in dresses that were draped and pleated in gravity-defying volumes.

Then there were dazzling flashes: a pair of equestrian boots finished with a cluster of tassels.

But the fashion show was not celebrated by everyone. A group of a few hundred residents protested the event because of what they said were the inconveniences it caused, including a reduction in parking in the area. The protest also included animal rights activists.

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The group of protesters located a few blocks down the hill from the park’s outer wall could be heard beating drums, sounding air horns and lighting fireworks before the parade began. Catalan police said they arrested a person for violently resisting their decision to remove protesters from a street to allow traffic to pass.

Parc Güell, pronounced “gu-ay,” began construction in 1900 as a planned high-end residential project designed by Gaudí, whose other works include the still-in-progress La Sagrada Familia church. But a lack of buyers led to it being abandoned in favor of a park that eventually passed into the hands of Barcelona City Council.

It now receives 4.4 million visitors annually, most of them from the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Italy, with Barcelona residents representing only 0.3% of visitors, according to the park.

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Associated Press Fashion Writer Colleen Barry contributes to this report from Milan, Italy.