PARIS — So much for the (relatively) low-key show venue.Nicolas Ghesquière, whose debut for Louis Vuitton in March took place in a vast tent with beige, bleacher-style seating in the Louvre’s Cour Carrée, will decamp to Monte Carlo and parade his first cruise collection at the foot of the Prince’s Palace of Monaco on May 17.The 7 p.m. fashion spectacle, taking place during the Cannes Film Festival, is being staged under the high patronage and presence of Princess Charlene of Monaco. The royal, who attended Ghesquière’s Paris debut, said she was “particularly pleased” to welcome the designer to the Palace Square, where tourists gather to watch the changing of the guards ceremony each day just before noon.The Vuitton event, which is to be live streamed on the French luxury brand’s Web site, is billed as the first fashion show to take place in the square. It also marks the first time Vuitton is putting its cruise collection on a runway.Dior, which is slated to hold its cruise show in New York today, made its Monaco runway debut a year ago in a specially constructed white box jutting out over the port.With roots stretching back to the 12th century, the palace is the official residence of Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene and remains one of the most emblematic sites on the French Riviera, perched on the Rock of Monaco overlooking the port and the Mediterranean Sea.Vuitton noted its ties to the royal family stretch back to 1904, when it created a wardrobe trunk in crocodile. In 1997, it christened a handbag Le Malicieux to mark the 700th anniversary of the royal dynasty and pay tribute to François Grimaldi, who seized the fortress of Monaco in 1297. His descendants still rule the principality today.
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