This year however, creative director Nicolas Ghesquiere decided to move to the mountains with the latest Cruise 2018 show held at the futuristic Miho Museum set in the Shigaraki mountains in Kyoto, Japan. We take a look at what went down:

#1: The set was spectacular

Perhaps you were imagining something along the lines of a traditional Japanese temple when we mentioned Kyoto? The Miho Museum however, is anything but.

Built in 1997, it is situated in the Shigaraki mountains on the outskirts of Kyoto. The museum was designed by one of the world’s most lauded (and oldest – he celebrated his 100th birthday this year) architects, I.M. Pei, and uniquely, it was built into the mountain itself – see that tunnel from which the models emerged? As a result, the museum, while futuristic in design, does not overpower the landscape – an intentional design on Mr.Pei’s part to honor the Japanese tradition of respecting the natural environment.

#2: It was both an homage and collaboration with legendary Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto

Kansai Yamamoto was the designer responsible for many of David Bowie‘s most famous looks, especially during Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane phase, including the wide-leg jumpsuit above. He was also the first Japanese designer to show in London in 1971, paving the way for compatriots Kenzo Takada, Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake.

Those bags and illustrated sequinned dresses? Yamamoto’s work.

#3: The collection was also a love letter to Japanese culture

Of Japan, Ghesquiere tells WWD, ““I’ve been coming to Japan for more than 20 years for personal and for professional reasons and like everyone, I was always amazed by the contrast between how they preserve the heritage and the history and they celebrate it, and at the same time how much the country is looking forward — it’s very technological and modern… That’s why it’s the biggest show I’ve done for Vuitton in terms of outfits.”

At 55 looks, it’s certainly a more expansive collection than Ghesquiere’s usual output. While there were some questionable bits (not too fond of the leopard prints in the opening looks, but that’s just me), overall the collection felt cohesive and a return to form – I was particularly taken with the masterful mix of colours, prints and fabrics.

#4: The make-up was particularly creative

Visionary makeup supremo Pat McGrath was responsible for the beauty looks at the show and she gave the models the most intense cat eyes, along with exaggerated brows and cheeks – all hallmarks of traditional Kabuki makeup, modernised of course, for the Vuitton show.

Like this? Check out why editor Noelle Loh is ecstatic that Louis Vuitton creative director Nicolas Ghesquiere is back on form, 3 new ryokan-inspired hotels in Japan you’ll love and you can now wear Zaha Hadid’s architectural designs through her collaboration with Bulgari

Main image: @ashleybrokaw Instagram