All-terrain, cross countries, a global perspective. The Louis Vuitton Autumn-Winter 2018 collection is an overview, experiencing multiple landscapes of the world simultaneously, and also the heritage of Louis Vuitton itself. Past, present, and future.
“It’s about clothes that can change, about fabrics that can travel on the body – and transform,” says Kim Jones, Men’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton. “Discovering something new. A constant voyage.”
The collection epitomises both a distinctly modern ease of movement through sportswear-influenced pieces, and different cultural experiences. The key print represents travel, comprised of photographs captured during a helicopter flight across Kenya. The resultant images are featured directly, but also influence the collection’s palette of natural, neutral earth tones, desert and mountain shades of sandstone, granite, olive and slate. They fundamentally underscore the Louis Vuitton DNA – of exploration and discovery.
Throughout, references run from the Wild West to the Far East, roaming freely, blending themes and approaches. The American rodeo is evoked through the attire of the flankman-shorts worn over streamlined leggings, that recall high-performance sports clothing. Shearling and intarsia mink reference Russia and Siberia; classic cashmeres and vicuña are used in tailoring with technical details drawn from the world of climbing, which inspires graphic injections of neon yellow and go-faster orange. Footwear echoes these hybrids: styles collage elements from a cowboy boot with a technical hiking style, and luxurious python is merged with a high-impact sports trainer, a ‘reboot’ of a style first proposed in 2015.
The past is a destination often visited: “Modern looks, found in a classic place,” says Kim Jones. Here, a trek through storied archives of Louis Vuitton also reflects a contemporary lifestyle. Sportswear influences are evident throughout. The foundation of a modern man’s wardrobe is refined and re-emphasised, as is a new definition of luxury as both precious, and practical. To communicate travel through the actual materials of the collection, Kim Jones turned to the future. Titanium is incorporated into the collection as a new precious metal, used in finishings and hardware. It inspires a rich lustre via changeante and gloss fabrics, organza overlays, python, and metallized treatments. Monogram Titanium echoes the sheen and shade of the metal to a fresh iteration of this iconic signature.
Leather goods and accessories are a new take on the Maison’s heritage. The Monogram is revisited in different colours and finishes. Monogram Titanium is joined by Monogram Glaze, whose mirror-coated high-shine finish is an update on the Monogram canvas, referencing the Vernis of the late 1990s. In Macassar and Eclipse colourways, Monogram Glaze is showcased in bags, footwear and the ready to-wear. The signature lustre of Monogram Fluo, highlights the collection’s energetic neon accent colours. A new signature emerges, with embossed elements of the name – either ‘Louis’ or ‘Vuitton’, on the two new leather good lines – Infinity Light and Infinity Dark. Drawing inspiration from the classic cowhide used to trim the Monogram canvas, leather is used to highlight a purity of shape, trimmed with titanium webbing and hardware details. The Louis Vuitton Speedy is re-studied and repurposed with a new masculine proportion as a cross-body bag; a hobo style is offered as an elegant men’s duffle; a new backpack style and two messengers are created. Activewear details inspired by mountaineering are integrated into the accessories, with eyelet details in titanium and study climbing ropes used for handles and closures.
The Louis Vuitton classical hard-case is scaled down to become a shoulder Messenger trunk, or a hand carried Daily trunk. The titanium trunks and bags inspire an abstract interplay between notions of rigid and soft. Never a destination, always a journey. This collection celebrates the Maison’s ever-evolving point of view, an ever-broadening landscape. It is an overview, a fresh perspective. Looking forward, to new horizons.