Men’s studio and style director Kim Jones lifted Vuitton to another luxury summit for fall with cuff links carved from rocks plucked from the top of Mount Everest — and a bespoke backpack trunk that must surely cost a lifetime of Sherpa wages.
The designer’s inspiration trip to Bhutan and Nepal yielded a windfall of great ideas, including parkas lined in beaver fur, and cashmere-and-mink outerwear needle-punched with the spots of the elusive snow leopard. Suiting fabrics paid homage to the checks and stripes of Bhutanese national costume, employed for trim sport jackets and slim pants.
The collection was grounded in modern classics, but elevated to the highest levels. A black overcoat came in supple bull hide prized, Jones explained, for its size, allowing for ample garments without seams. Sumptuous, too, was a brown cardigan, knitted from fibers brushed from a deer found only in New Zealand. “It’s even softer than vicuña, and much rarer,” Jones noted during a preview. While yak felt nailed the mountaineering theme like a pick in a glacier, it made for comparatively drab blazers and coats.
They were forgotten when a quirky botanical print, done by British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman, appeared on dinner jackets and silken robes. Close inspection reveals scary owls and pandas clutching the branches, and the creepy-but-cute creatures were reprised on lapel pins, also realized at the pinnacle of luxury possibility. Noted Jones: “They’ve got ruby eyes and a pearl nose.”