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Louis Vuitton unveils dramatic new styles at Gaudí’s Park Güell amid heated protests

A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 23 May 2024.
A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 23 May 2024. Copyright Credit: AP Photo
Copyright Credit: AP Photo
By Theo FarrantAP
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Nicolas Ghesquiere showcased the Parisian house’s 2025 Cruise collection to an A-list audience, including Ana de Armas, Jennifer Connelly, and Saoirse Ronan.

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Louis Vuitton unveiled its latest fashion designs at Barcelona’s Park Güell perfectly complementing Antoni Gaudí’s architectural masterpiece with dramatic new styles.

Where tourists tread daily in tank tops, shorts and flip flops, the UNESCO World Heritage Site transformed into a stage for avant-garde garments that harmonised with its earthy and ethereal tones.

The models weaved their way through the 86 Doric columns that hold up a vaulted square in the center of the park that overlooks Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea in the distance.

A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 23 May 2024.
A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 23 May 2024.Credit: Joan Mateu/AP
A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 23 May 2024.
A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 23 May 2024.Credit: Joan Mateu/AP
A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 23 May 2024.
A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 23 May 2024.Credit: Joan Mateu/AP

The show notes said Ghesquiere had been inspired by Gaudí’s “legacy in constant mutation” and Spain’s rich artistic heritage.

“As if in homage to such opulent purity, the Maison’s rigorous spirit embraces the country’s passionate character,” the notes read. “The fervour of its colours, its loyalty to tradition elevated into artistic expression, dark and light that never appear contradictory.”

Shoes created by Louis Vuitton on display during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, May 23, 2024.
Shoes created by Louis Vuitton on display during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, May 23, 2024.Credit: Joan Mateu/AP
A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 23 May 2024.
A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, 23 May 2024.Credit: Joan Mateu/AP
A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, May 23, 2024.
A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, May 23, 2024.Credit: Joan Mateu/AP
A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, May 23, 2024.
A model wears a creation by Louis Vuitton during a fashion show for the Cruise 2025 collection in the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, May 23, 2024.Credit: Joan Mateu/AP

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

And then there were flashes that delighted: a pair of equestrian boots that finished in a bunch of tassels.

The fashion show, however, was not celebrated by all. A group of a few hundred residents protested the event for what they said were the inconveniences it had caused, including reduced parking in the area. The protest also included animal right activists.

Police and demonstrators clash during a protest outside the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday May 23, 2024.
Police and demonstrators clash during a protest outside the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday May 23, 2024.Credit: David Oller/AP
Police and demonstrators clash during a protest outside the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, 23 May 202.
Police and demonstrators clash during a protest outside the Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain, 23 May 202.David Oller/AP

The group of protesters located a few streets down the hill from the park’s outer wall could be heard beating drums, blowing air horns and setting off firecrackers before the show kicked off. Catalan police said they arrested one person for resisting violently to their decision to remove the protesters from a street to let traffic through.

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