“Paris, past and present,” Kim Jones, men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton, said ahead of his handsome fall show. The globetrotting designer, now five years in the French capital, had finally turned his attention to his backyard.
And what a backyard, as showgoers were reminded during the trek out to the show venue in western Paris, past the Eiffel Tower and the stone buildings flanking the Seine, blushing pink at dusk. Even though the designer started working on the collection before the terrorist attacks last November, Jones felt it turned out to be a wonderful tribute to the City of Light.
As for the collection, berets and utility pockets gave faint military airs to a lineup of wool coats and filmy trenches, mostly strict and narrow — a sharp foil to the droopy looks parading elsewhere. All were belted tightly, including one in shearling, the clipped fur dyed a striking French blue. Pants were neat and slim, pinned on chunky derby shoes.
Jones winked to the dandy style of French aesthete Alexis, Baron de Rédé, collaborating with Jade Jagger on diamond cobweb charms and other jewelry, while ribbons swirling into profiles on silk shirts called to mind Jean Cocteau, another prominent figure in the Art Deco period.
Rugged leather vests, yet more shearling coats and cozy sweaters were printed with blown-up versions of vintage Vuitton trunk stamps, a tad excessive in terms of branding. Jones darkened its famous logo canvas into a shadowy black and gray version, dubbed Monogram Eclipse.
He also launched a range of denim at the show — some in gleaming silk, others in white, painstakingly hand-painted with indigo. “Each piece is different,” noted the designer, whose favorite jeans in the world are also rare and unique. The battered pairs of Levi’s, circa 1901 and 1937, took him 20 years to find.