This sailing-inspired collection read like a fashion love letter to Yves Carcelle, who is due to sail out of Louis Vuitton later this year after a stellar career piloting the leather goods powerhouse. Kim Jones, men’s style director, cited Carcelle among the yacht-loving men who inspired this peppy and straightforward nautical affair. “Croatia and Montenegro,” Carcelle beamed when asked where he’d be pointing his bow this summer.
While it’s a hackneyed theme in men’s wear, Jones put wind in his seafaring concept by pointing the compass towards the pinnacle of luxury — and by following his rich voyager from embarkation to exotic destination. There were chic options for a wide cast of characters: handsome double-breasted navy suits with wide-legged pants for the captain; rugged and colorful foul-weather gear for the crewmen, and artfully frayed and decaying denim shorts and jackets for castaways. There was even a padded black leather life jacket, which brought to mind the over-the-top biker style of architect Peter Marino, who designs Vuitton’s boutiques.
During a preview, Jones highlighted some marvels of craftsmanship, among them a rugged fisherman sweater knitted from strips of English shirting fabrics, and a golden porkpie hat actually woven from fine brass thread. There was hyper-luxury, too, as in a hooded pullover made of crocodile that’s almost as supple as chiffon — and as expensive as a sports car. “We’ve sold around five, maybe more,” he shrugged.