Kim Jones went island-hopping for his spring collection for Louis Vuitton. The show was staged in the stately setting of the Palais-Royal, but it might as well have been Bora Bora, judging by the hothouse atmosphere at the venue.
Guests fanned themselves furiously under the clear plastic tent as models ambled past in layered outfits that combined scuba-diving and surfing gear with languid tailoring. For want of an actual pool, Jones offered up plenty of aquatic effects with glossy textures and oceanic shades.
The designer said he was inspired by a book called “The Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Not Visited and Never Will” to combine elements like the vegetation of Pacific islands and the relaxed tailoring of Hong Kong.
“It’s that multicultural, sort of subtropical vibe. I wanted something quite sporty, but I wanted the tailoring to be relaxed and the sportswear to be quite fitted and smart,” he said during a preview at his (air-conditioned) studio. His Danish heritage inspired the technical clogs — complete with ash wood soles.
Mohair jackets came in two shades, as if spliced together from separate halves, echoing the new Monogram Split style bags, which combined colorways of the house’s iconic patterned canvas.
Suits and pants in a palette of blue and earth tones contrasted with prints of exotic blooms. They appeared on classic Aloha shirts overlaid with printed organza variations to give them a liquid veneer, and on tops like an oversized knitted T-shirt printed with a tropicana-style Louis Vuitton logo.
Those fashion elements of the collection should appeal to front-row guests like Tyga and designers Virgil Abloh and Stefano Pilati. The technical aspect was more subtle, but all the more rewarding. Standouts included an inky bonded leather and neoprene jacket, a fleece-effect brushed shearling bomber and a high sheen off-white oversized raincoat.
“Every single thing has the DNA of travel put inside it, so you have these really light jackets. They do have to work in the real world and we’re very much about authenticity here,” Jones said. “Every man can walk into a Vuitton store and find something for his lifestyle.”
It made for a compelling display, though the stifling heat did cause the mind to wander. Those scuba shorts and surf pants? Mmm, a nice cool dip in the Big Blue. And that featherlight gray nylon poncho? Bring on the rain.