Welcome to Seoul, nearly 10 million inhabitants, new capital of Asian cool, epicenter of hallyu, this Korean wave that sweeps the world via its K-culture, and ultimate Eldorado of luxury: youth, particularly dynamic and prescriptive, massively acclaim Western brands and logos. It is in this favorable environment that Louis Vuitton presented, on April 29, its Pre-Fall 2023 collection in the monumental setting of the Jamsugyo Bridge in the capital of South Korea. The brand is extremely well established: there are thirty-five stores in the country, eighteen in Seoul alone. Surfing on the international craze of the Netflix series Squid Game, it was its director, Hwang Dong-Hyuk, who had been enlisted to make the show an exceptional event, and it is also one of its heroines, the actress and model Jung Ho-yeon, muse of Vuitton, who opened the show, traveling at the pace of load the 797 meters of the bridge, a podium of unprecedented length.
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Among the international guests, Marina Foïs, friend of the house and Nicolas Ghesquière, its artistic director. It was the first time that the As Bestas actress set foot in South Korea, a country that the great cinephile that she is seemed to already know through the iconic films of Korean cinema that she loves so much. We followed Marina Foïs, tour guide and fashion figure, as she wandered through Seoul.
In video, Louis Vuitton shows in Seoul, the new Eldorado of luxury
In front of one of the temples of the royal palace of Changdeokgung.
Mesh coat, sweater, bleached denim skirt and boots, the fall 2023 collection set, Louis Vuitton.
Hairstyle Chris Naselli. Kelly Cornwell makeup. Emanuele Scorcelletti
"I've been dressed almost exclusively by Nicolas Ghesquière for a very long time. I met him when he was still at Balenciaga, before he became the creative director of Louis Vuitton's women's collections. He is very cinephile and he invited to his shows some actresses whose films he loved. For my part, I would never have dared to go to him, even if I knew and loved his fashion. From the moment I wore one of her dresses, I never thought of going anywhere else. It's a bit like the architect Mies van der Rohe: there is an excellence of the line and the less is more, even if he also knows how to create extremely spectacular things. But I remain convinced that it is much more difficult to do something with the minimum than to do a lot.
Does the habit make the monk? Obviously. Whether you want to impress or go unnoticed, a garment is a tool, a weapon, a pleasure, a protection.
Nicolas has been dressing me for about fifteen years, and I wear his creations as much in my life as on the red carpets. It is sometimes said of him that he makes a cerebral fashion, but what is less said, and which is nevertheless obvious, is that his fashion goes to many different women and therefore to many different bodies. The other important thing is that at the end of the creative process, he makes clothes and not outfits: a skirt is a skirt, a sweater, a sweater and his jackets – the most beautiful in the world – jackets. Does the habit make the monk? Obviously. Whether you want to impress or go unnoticed, a garment is a tool, a weapon, a pleasure, a protection, it's many things. Fashion is interesting in every way.
Nicolas taught me a lot. He taught me to look, he taught me things about myself too. He is also a great colorist. And that's not given to everyone: the sense of colors, it's the children or the great artists who own it. He can mix colors that do not exist and get something extraordinary. His fashion and fashion fascinate me. The crazy thing is that I'm not jaded about anything, even to an unimaginable degree. I'm just as excited to go to a parade as I am to a theatre show by a director I love. My curiosity is never satisfied. I like sewing as I like carpentry: I am interested in making things, I like to see how we manage to transform them."
In a stall offering Korean snacks, such as fried pork with kimchi sauce or jjolmeyon bowl of noodles.
Retro Monogram silk blouse, Side Trunk Monogram reverse bag and ring, autumn 2023 collection, Louis Vuitton. Emanuele Scorcelletti
"Despite my Italian roots, I think Asia is where I like best about the world. Japanese, Korean, Thai or Chinese gastronomy, as different as they are, is refinement and lightness. I would always prefer chili and miso to crème fraiche. Always. I prefer a good udon to a carbonara. My culinary life is in Asia, you will not lead me on other paths. I must say that Asian cuisine is very difficult to achieve: there is always an ingredient missing and it takes a technicality that I do not have, even if I do very well with sake-lacquered salmon."
"Although this is my first time in Seoul, I don't feel completely alien here: I've seen enough Korean films to recognize certain things, which is a very pleasant feeling. I love Bong Joon-ho, Park Chan-wook, and the last movie I saw was About Kim Sohee, by July Jung. Architecturally, the very urban Tokyo side is obvious, with this astonishing, characteristic mix of ancient temples popping up in the middle of the concrete. These multiple styles that blend together or clash please me, fascinate me, it's even what I prefer. My grandfather was an architect and he had two models: Carlo Scarpa and Mies van der Rohe. I think that, genetically, I was made to like it, it's not a free choice, I was programmed to like it and that's what I like the most. The Dongdaemun Design Plaza, where I was photographed (see above), was designed by Zaha Hadid. What is very beautiful is this art of putting curves in straight lines. In addition, the different materials that make up the building produce a massive or aerial effect which, we guess, must vary according to the hours and light. It's beautiful."
On one of the stairs of Dongdaemun Design Plaza.
Sweater, leather skirt, boots and bag Vanity Monogram Reverse, the fall 2023 collection set, Louis Vuitton. Emanuele Scorcelletti
"If you ignore history and the ancients, concrete makes no sense. The contemporary feeds on the past. What I love about Asian cities are the impassive temples in the midst of traffic and hustle and bustle. I really like these telescoping as I like to admire the centuries-old know-how. And I never tire of the spectacle of women in traditional dress evolving in an urban landscape with futuristic contours."
Marina Foïs will be in the films Le Bal des Folles, by Arnaud des Pallières, and Je le jure, by Samuel Theis, as well as in season 2 of the series En place, by Jean-Pascal Zadi and François Uzan.