On Tuesday morning, TikTok stars, designers, local tastemakers, and Real Housewives gathered at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Many of the nearly 200 guests quickly finished glasses of champagne while staff herded them into the lobby. Women posed in front of two curtains glowing like the sunset. Then at 10:05 a.m., a synthetic bell echoed through the high walls of the space. The Louis Vuitton show was about to begin.
The famed French fashion house hosted two runway and trunk shows at the Dallas science museum on November 15, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. The invite-only event promoted Louis Vuitton’s Cruise 2023 line, which debuted last May at a show in La Jolla outside San Diego. Designed by Louis Vuitton women’s artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière, the line was inspired by the sun and the shimmering glow it leaves in its wake.
The show featured lots of neutral and metallic tops, boots, cargo pants, and skirts. There was a warrior chic, Dune-ish air to the looks, with plenty of androgynous silhouettes. Pieces included broad-shouldered smocked crop tops, long leather belts, and draped culottes. The metallics seemed to reference a futuristic sci-fi world, but armor-like pieces, like a series of cross-chested crop tops, called back in time. The Dallas show left out many of the hooded dresses, headgear, and tops from the California show, but it did include more ready-to-wear outfits, including several navy and gold brocade matching sets.
Every year, Ghesquière picks an architecturally stunning venue to showcase his Cruise line, like Japan’s Miho Museum. The 2023 line’s reveal show took place at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, renowned for its brutalist design. The Perot was also chosen for its architecture, including its lighting, per several sources.
Opened in 2012, the Victory Park museum was designed by award-winning California architect Thom Mayne. The 180,000-square-foot building uses molded concrete to create a modern and seemingly floating geographic landmark in the Dallas cityscape.
Louis Vuitton embraced the concrete motif in its pared-back décor. A concrete-colored Louis Vuitton wall was set up as guests entered from the courtyard for photo ops. Terrazzo-patterned walls were erected around the shopping areas. Purses sat up on concrete displays.
There was no ornamentation in the main lobby where the runway was located, besides the two glowing curtains from which the models appeared. (High above, molecules still hung from the ceiling—it is a science museum after all.) Instead, the fashion house employed the cavernous room and massive windows to elevate and celebrate the line.
Guests gathered after the show in the museum’s gift shop and café, which had been transformed into a boutique. Gone were the gadgets and dino-toy displays. In were mannequins wearing the day’s looks, racks of clothing, beautiful shoe displays, and massive Louis Vuitton trunks of purses and other merchandise. There were even dressing rooms for visitors to try on pieces. By late morning, many guests could be seen clutching hangers or slinging large orange and navy shopping bags over their arms.
As they shopped, guests sipped on mimosas and white wine. Waiters milled around with trays of finger foods, like beef wellington, avocado toast, and pumpkin pie bites. Models still wearing fits from the show meandered about. And the visitors, some of whom had traveled to Dallas from all over the country, chatted with each other, kitted out in a cache of Louis Vuitton-branded goods.
Their outfits included gear of all shapes and sizes, from small clutches, shawls, and sneakers to head-to-toe LV. One man donned Louis Vuitton cowboy boots. Another woman wore a monogram trench, a sleek pair of heels, and a fabulous Boite Chapeau bag that could easily fit a hat or two. Some did opt for pieces from rival brands: a few Louboutin red bottoms touched the floor. But most stuck with the fashion house of the hour.
By noon, many of the guests had left with their hauls. But more remained, locked in tete-a-tetes about the day’s styles. The waiters passed out a last round or two of champagne as visitors filed back out to the valet line. Eventually, the space was cleared, and the museum and Louis Vuitton staff began getting everything ready once more.