With the early days of summer soon upon us, the fashion world is currently abuzz with talk of pre-collections as numerous brands present their respective resort and cruise shows. With the warmer season upon us, it is no surprise then that several shows should take place outdoors. But, as learned by anyone who has agonized over a beach wedding or simply seen a barbecue canceled in light of a summer downpour, holding any event outside puts you at the mercy of Mother Nature. Outdoor fashion shows, like many other occasions, are particularly vulnerable to weather. Louis Vuitton for one, who recently held their show in the south of France, decided to take matters into their own hands and hire a shaman.
A shaman is a figure present in the cultures of people native to North America and North Asia. This person is viewed as having special access to the spirit world and is thought to be able to communicate with both good and evil spirits. With such abilities, the shaman is believed to be able to interact with things outside the sphere of human influence, namely the weather.
Surprisingly, this is certainly not the first time that the luxury brand has engaged the services of mystic forces as according to Harper’s Bazaar, “The unidentified shaman also commanded the weather at LV’s Cruise shows in Rio and Kyoto.” Despite the assumed success of these tactics in last year’s shows, however, it seems that the decision was never meant to be long term fix as Louis Vuitton’s parent company, LVMH, had originally meant to dispense with the conduit to the spirit world for this year’s Cruise show.
A source states that while “They used the shaman in Rio” to assure against potential downpours, “the executives thought it was dumb” and as PageSix.com puts it “…gave the cosmic weatherman a pink slip.”
However, it would seem that the executives were made to reconsider their decision, as just a week earlier, Dior’s own show was attacked by an onslaught of rain. WWD reports that “a heavy rainstorm broke moments before the start of the show, dousing the models as they made their way around the semi-open venue.”
Seemingly fearing another faux-paus on the part of Mother Nature, LVMH enlisted the help of the same Shaman for LV’s Cruise 2019 show, which was held in Saint-Paul de Vence, a historical town nestled in the picturesque Côte d’Azur. With the event already set in such an idyllic location, the last thing the brand would want is a repeat of the disaster at Dior.
Luckily, the fashion house with the famous monogram was saved from the same fate as the rain seemed to back off until after runway was empty. Stylist Kate Young, who was present at the show commented on the supposed triumph of the shaman, stating that “The art collection is incredible and there was a musical installation. Vuitton hired a shaman to stave off the rain and apparently, his work succeeded (kissing trees, or so I heard) because it didn’t rain until after the show finished.”
Whether Louis Vuitton owes the success of the Cruise 2019 show to the efforts of some spiritual forces or simply the fickle nature of weather is up for debate. The decision to rely on this alternative to meteorology is most definitely unorthodox. Then again, the fashion world has certainly never been a stranger to pushing the envelope. After all, eccentricity gives way to creativity; the force upon which such an industry must thrive. Only time will tell if this foray into the mystical will give way to a larger trend.