Guided once again by the passion for travelling and exotic destinations, Kim Jones conceived another strong menswear collection for Louis Vuitton. Presented during Paris men’s fashion week on a runway hand-painted with an aerial photograph of the Atacama Desert, the luxury brand’s Autumn/Winter 2014 collection comprised 42 looks that, even though inspired by Latin-America’s natural landscapes and ancient civilisations, are ultimately very suited to the urbane taste of the Louis Vuitton man.
If the collection incorporates conceptual and physical elements from faraway countries such as rare skins, geological gems, the animal geoglyph motifs from the Nazca Lines, and traditional Peruvian needle-punched horizontal stripes, the results couldn’t be more sophisticated: silhouettes are slim and clean silhouettes, garments are crafted from noble materials, and an array of stylish accessories complements the looks.
Luxurious fabrics are ubiquitous throughout the collection and include mohair and huarizo (an alpaca-llama crossbreed) in suiting; double-faced vicuña in robes; and cashmere (sometimes blended with silk) in evening double-breasted overcoats, reversible coats, blousons and gloves, or in hand-knitted strips that resemble fur. In addition, dégradé silk is used for evening suits worn over micro-checked and striped shirts, while lounge pants, T-shirts and sweatshirts feature artisan crochet stitch detailing; and a range of scarves made from silk twill incorporate subtle patterns such as chevrons, stripes, and herringbone.
As has become expected of Louis Vuitton, opulent and textured furs and leathers abound: shearling panels are used in a reversible zip-up sweater, chinchilla-lined silk is detailed with heat-sealed zippers and seams, and a windbreaker made from python skin is finished with a calf-leather hood. Equally, accessories and footwear incorporate innovatively treated and patterned skins: a Derby city shoe comes in silver-mirrored calfskin, grained nubuck or crocodile; a city ankle boot-hybrid uses glazed calf with a padded nappa ankle; and rubberized leather is used for the trimming of bags, a predominant accessory offered in a comprehensive range that includes holdalls, totes, messengers, trolley bags, duffles, folios and hybrid backpacks.
And confirming the desirable social status that Louis Vuitton commands, the collection comprises more economical objects that stress the brand’s identity in the form of accessories and jewellery pieces: every look in the collection comes with sunglasses with coloured and mirrored lenses; whereas necklaces, rings, and lapel pins inspired by South-American geology incorporate gems and stones such as crystal, quartz, amethyst, ionite, agate and jasper.