Louis Vuitton – cyclists and surfers chic in the Palais Royal
Talk about a modern nomadic collection. Where the influences ranged from New Zealand Maori; Hawaii surf and Pacific scuba gear in an active sport meets logo-mania collection sure to keep the cash registers humming at Louis Vuitton.
Luxury’s largest brand is very much no-expense zone. Even though Paris is sweltering through the current menswear season, all was cool and comfortable inside the courtyard of the Palais Royal, thanks to state-of-the-art mist sprinklers.
Contemporary men’s fashion is all about mixing sport attitude with multi-purpose clothes that can be worn on airplanes and in and out of air conditioning. Louis Vuitton men's artistic director Kim Jones addresses that demand with some great lightweight tailoring – light grey honeycomb twill jackets or split mohair jackets.
Few designers play with logos as succulently as Jones, who developed a great fresh LV logo over the air stream of a propeller plane. He also sent out a great new product line called Monogram Outdoor, where mountaineering gear, sporting webbing and climbing cords were artfully jumbled up with techy fabrics to make some smart new blousons and jerkins – ideal for city or country pursuits.
For free time, the British designer suggested scuba shorts under oversize organza shorts, or combining beautifully cut fine wool dusters and grandfather striped shirts over surfer leggings. The show notes came in a metallic cobalt blue-brown Monogram -print mix, the same combo used in great river running sandals and in bum bags slung over the shoulder.
The collection also marked a huge departure from last season’s show, which starred Vuitton’s link-up with street and skateboard label Supreme. Indeed, this was Jones in a far more explorative mood, and all the better for that.
“After last season, I wanted something fresh. Definitely a more relaxed silhouette but also more youthful,” said Jones in between posing for photos, as the champagne flowed backstage inside the famed Paris garden.
Though very much part of Jones’ oeuvre at Vuitton of matching street style, ethic ideas and techy travel garments. This show was probably the closest his collection has ever got to the style of the house’s women’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquière – whose work at Vuitton always references active sports. Still, it was unmistakably Jones in fine fashion form.
Seconds before the show began, Naomi Campbell marched in, joining her best buddy, Edward Enninful, lately appointed UK Vogue Editor in Chief. Curiously, she was wearing a chiffon floral dress in almost exactly the same Polynesian style motif fabric as a shirt in the men’s collection. A sign of the future?
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