INDIAN WANDERLUST. Louis Vuitton brought the grandeur of India into the men’s spring/summer 2015 collection. Peter Zewet reports from Bangkok
Shades of blue and grey are highlighted in the collection
Held on December 11, 2014, in Bangkok, Thailand, the Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2015 press presentation took place at the uber-chic The Sukhothai Residences. A penthouse at the private residential address was transformed into a gallery-like space to showcase both the women’s and men’s collections. Under the direction of British designer Kim Jones, the Louis Vuitton’s men’s collection for the season continued to delight fans and the fashion press alike.
Jones himself is an avid world traveler and thus his appointment in 2011 as the head of the men’s ready-to-wear division at the French fashion house synonymous with luxury travel was often regarded as a match made in heaven. At Louis Vuitton, Jones displays his finesse in creating collections that showcase a fine balance between high-tech sportswear and travel-inspired outfits.
For the brand’s spring/summer 2015 collection, Rajasthan, the land of kings in the northwestern corner of India, became the starting point for Louis Vuitton’s exploration of the very concept of menswear. India presented inspiring elements for Jones as he reassessed various timeless looks of true sophistication in order to create an impressive collection. Smart military-styled tailoring, inspired by the outfits of the palace guards, was infused with inventive sports styling, resulting in a variety of jackets with epaulettes, army shirts and highwaisted shorts. Aviation was also a strong theme shown in the collection with a number of bomber jackets and flight suits presented. These were decorated with pilot badges depicting a military-themed sundial and Louis Vuitton’s menswear slogan of the season: “volez, voguez, voyagez.”
The leather sneakers and the leather bag complete the collection
RICH COLORS AND EXOTIC PATTERNS
Colors and patterns were two strong points of the collection. Along with a warm palette of military khakis and browns to cooler tones of indigo denim and shades of grays, shocking pink and bold orange became a strong statement that stood out. An especially outstanding example would be the collection’s all-pink boiler suit. Exquisite patterns also featured heavily in the collection, particularly the Louis Vuitton Karakoram motif that has been translated into a range of understated zigzag herringbone variations in fine wool suits. The Karakoram motif became more pronounced on shirts inspired by Indian turban fabrics and embroidery motifs. These large multicolor Karakoram patterns, injected with the season’s blues, pinks and oranges, appear on a dotted background taken from India’s Mothra tie-dye technique, which places the dots very tightly as a traditional mark of social rank. Further explorations of pattern were presented on white cotton and silk shirts through Chikan-styled samplers featuring traditional Indian patterns interspersed with the Gaston V in patchwork jacquard. Meanwhile, gauzy silk organza short-sleeved shirts add a touch of Indian exoticism.
The letter V was definitely a statement motif that seems to reflect the mountains of Rajasthan as well as the “volez, voguez, voyagez” slogan. It also made sense that this season marked the launch of the new V bag collection. Made from an exclusive variant of light, supple and water-repellent leather, these multipurpose bags work great for all daily activities, be it at the gym or the office. One inherently Indian embellishment that was prominently featured in the collection was Shisha-mirrored embroidery. Decorating a blue bomber jacket as well as another boiler suit in blue, these constellation-styled, engraved mirrors bring to mind a statement by Jones in the press release, “While last season’s collection was about looking down at the earth from above, this time we’ve looking up at the stars.”
Pink and orange are the season’s statement colors
LUXE MATERIALS AND ACCENT ACCESSORIES
For materials in the collection, Louis Vuitton stuck to their customary choices of luxury fabrics such as refined leathers, cashmere and silks, along with sophisticated technical fabrics, created specifically for this collection. Unabashed mixes of these fabrics, either within a single garment or used in layers, brought about a refreshed sense of refinement. In terms of silhouette, there was a definite ‘70s vibe with the prevalence of fitted tops and high-waisted pants with wide legs.
As can be expected, the leather goods in the collection were in line with Louis Vuitton’s tradition of excellence. Along with the V bag collection, four special edition trunks were presented: a desktop case, guitar case, record case and composer’s case designed to hold music paper, ink and notebooks. The four special edition trunks, in aged natural cowhide with fine calfskin interiors, highlighted Louis Vuitton’s savoir-faire and travel heritage. Other bags presented, such as the season’s doctor bag, weekend suitcase and tote with Monogram straps and tags, featured the house’s classic monogram signature that has been reversed and the LV monogram trim on solid tanned deer leather. In footwear, Louis Vuitton presented alligator leather sneakers in simple black or white, which looked modern yet precious.
Other notable accessories of the collection included crossed bridge sunglasses—the signature shades of Singh’s 19th century descendant, Sawai Ram Singh II. Meanwhile, Indian military-style gold sundials appeared on belt buckles, cuff links, rings and bag charms along with a guitar flectrum pendant in malachite that was part of a luxurious Louis Vuitton’s jewelry collection for men.
A glamorous remix of smart military detailing, Indian inspirations and the fashionable needs of a well-versed traveler, the Louis Vuitton Men’s spring/summer 2015 collection offers a comprehensive and elegant selection for the modern gentleman.