Globetrotter extraordinaire Kim Jones finally made it to India in February, and said it surpassed all expectations — even though the show venue, a former greenhouse, matched the heat of the Indian desert in August. Yet apart from using the obligatory bright pink, the navy blue of that populous nation, Louis Vuitton’s men’s style director etched the theme lightly, winking to the hunting, military and sporting styles of maharajas mixed with “that modern Indian cool.”
The collection had a tangy, youthful allure, the straight-leg pants high and tight on the hips transmitting that same Seventies vibe favored by Nicolas Ghesquière, Vuitton’s new artistic director of women’s collections, who sat front-row.
The caramel trench that opened the show, in leather etched to resemble twill, exemplified Jones’ dialed-down, hyperluxurious approach. Ditto the gauzy polo shirts, their mottled patterns reminiscent of intricate Indian tie-dyes. “The richer the person, the closer together the lines are,” Jones explained during a preview. He added a Karakoram chevron, named after the spiky namesake mountain range, a motif used by Vuitton since the Twenties.
The collection exhaled luxury, from the shrunken aviator bombers and crocodile sneakers to the shearling-lined guitar case, an allusion to The Beatles’ 1968 visit to an ashram.
It was his Central Saint Martins professor, the late Louise Wilson, who had urged Jones to visit India, and he dedicated the show to her.