The Louis Vuitton Cruise show extravaganza in Palm Springs this week provided a cruise of the desert environs, too, which is appropriate considering the 1854 French luxury brand’s beginnings as a maker of high-end travel trunks.
Vuitton hosted events over three days for 550 guests, including media and clients, some of whom traveled from as far away as Asia to attend. Coordinating the logistics of getting VIPs to and from involved hiring a fleet of 200 drivers from Los Angeles and Orange County, as well as importing production staff, bartenders and servers, and helicoptering in Canadian star Grimes to DJ the show after-party.
Events surrounding Wednesday night’s runway show at the Bob and Dolores Hope Estate were designed to showcase the area’s modernist architecture, fine art and dining. Vuitton even printed up its own maps with suggested itineraries and destinations.
Here are a few of the Vuitton-recommended highlights.
Palm Springs Art Museum & Sculpture Garden
Founded in 1938, the museum has an art collection that rivals those of major cities. The collection includes works by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Ansel Adams and Donald Judd, as well as a large array of Native American art and artifacts, much of it donated by the area's wealthy residents. The collection is spread out over 150,000 square feet of gallery space in a building designed by desert-style Modern architect E. Stewart Williams. Vuitton hosted a luncheon in the outdoor sculpture garden, where guests ate among sculptures by Henry Moore and Jim Dine. The museum's Muse Cafe offers outdoor dining in the Sculpture Garden.
101 N. Museum Drive, Palm Springs, psmuseum.org
Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center
Opened in 2014 as an adjunct to the art museum, the former Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan Bank is dedicated to showcasing the architecture and design of the area. Founding members of the museum include the artist Shag, fashion designer Trina Turk and Nancy Sinatra. On view now is an exhibition of Joshua Tree artist Andrea Zittel's "A-Z Aggregated Stacks," which are sculptural, stark white, grid-like cardboard and plaster boxes, juxtaposed with graphic textiles from the museum's collection, including Navajo weavings and Marimekko prints. You can visit both museums for the $5 admission price.
300 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, psmuseum.org
Bob and Dolores Hope estate
Completed in 1980 by famed architect John Lautner, the space-agey house captured the imagination of Louis Vuitton Artistic Director Nicolas Ghesquiere the first time he visited Palm Springs nearly 20 years ago. Currently on the market for $25 million, the outdoor space was the backdrop for the runway show.
Built to resemble a volcano with three visor-like arches, an undulating concrete roof and a hole at the center opening to the sky, it was Bob and Dolores Hope's dream home.
This was the first and last time the Hope Trust would authorize the estate's use for such an event, according to Windermere Real Estate director Stewart Smith, who is an agent for the property, and confirmed there have been a couple of inquiries since the Vuitton event. "The next story we want is that the house sold," he said.
2466 Southridge Drive, Palm Springs, patrickstewartproperties.com
For the record
May 9, 1:45 p.m: An earlier version of this post reported that the Hope estate was rented for the Louis Vuitton event. Agents for the property described the arrangement as an "authorized use."
Parker Palm Springs hotel
The hotel hosted celebs, press and clients during the trip, as well as the after-show dinner and party.
The site of the first Holiday Inn in California, which opened in 1959, other former owners include Gene Autry and Merv Griffin. When it was Merv Griffin's Resort Hotel, another French luxury brand made its mark here; Hubert de Givenchy lent its name to the spa.
The hotel has been owned by Le Parker Meridian since 2004, when it was transformed into a whimsical Midcentury destination with the help of cheery potter/interior designer Jonathan Adler.
The hotel is a frequent backdrop for fashion shoots, including the famous W magazine photo spread featuring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in scenes of domestic bliss just as they came out as a real-life couple.
4200 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, theparkerpalmsprings.com
Dinah Shore estate
Louis Vuitton hosted a buffet luncheon poolside at this historic Midcentury estate designed in 1964 for actress/singer Dinah Shore by prolific Palm Springs architect Donald Wexler. The six-bedroom compound also has a tennis court and separate guest house.
Leonardo DiCaprio bought the house in 2014. The asking price was $5.4 million. But the property is available to rent by the night starting at $4,500 (two-night minimum).
432 W. Hermosa Place, Palm Springs, 432hermosa.com
The 1940s-era former guest house of Cary Grant was the site of the farewell dinner for guests on Thursday night. Open since 2004, with a stunning outdoor courtyard, the restaurant serves traditional fare, such as beef tenderloin and tuna tartare.
621 N. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs, copleyspalmsprings.com
Louis Vuitton store
The brand's desert outpost is along Palm Desert's high-end shopping corridor, the Shops at El Paseo. It has a small collection of accessories and travel goods.
73515 El Paseo, G-1708 Palm Desert, louisvuitton.com
Fine Art of Design
Though it was not technically on the Vuitton suggested itinerary, fashionable guests such as blogger Susie Bubble found their way to this Palm Desert vintage clothing gem anyway. Bubble nabbed a vintage Courreges jacket here.
73717 Highway 111, Palm Desert, thefineartofdesign.com
Local bath and body product purveyor, Body Deli was tapped to supply in-room amenities for Vuitton's 500 hotel guests, including a Palm Springs Spa Collection lotion, body oil and scrub made with locally-sourced, raw and organic citrus and evening jasmine. The brand, which co-owner David Parker describes as "a juice bar experience for your skin" just opened its second store, across the street from Vuitton on El Paseo in Palm Desert.
73560 El Paseo, Palm Desert, thebodydeli.com
Palm Canyon trails
Vuitton organized a morning-after hiking excursion on Thursday for guests who wanted to work off all the Champagne from the show's after-party. The 15 miles of hiking trails just minutes from the heart of downtown Palm Springs are a microcosm of the area's landscape -- rocky gorges, barren desert, date palms and cactus. The trails are located on land owned by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, who have lived in the Coachella Valley for thousands of years.
38500 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, indian-canyons.com
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Los Angeles Times staff writer Adam Tschorn contributed to this report.