Kim Jones Leads A Remarkable Expedition For SS17
For Kim Jones, Men’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton, returning to your roots is sometimes all the inspiration you need. After all, travel is the heart of Louis Vuitton, and here, Jones skilfully weaves a cross-cultural, synergetic mix across his collection of 41 looks. The collection is a journey—one that draws deeply on Jones’ personal voyage—from his childhood in Kenya and Botswana, to his formative years as a designer in London, and now, Paris. The pieces resonate with today’s modern travellers, who are unconfined by the demarcations of anything as pedantic as a geographic boundary and, like Jones’ Louis Vuitton man, temper their style with the experience of their travels.
Africa’s influence manifests in the palette of sand and sun-bleached khaki colours, along with intricately woven textiles and the curated use of exotic skins. Animal print illustrations by Jake and Dinos Chapman—artist siblings with whom Jones also collaborated on an earlier collection—run throughout the collection, forming an illustrative approach on safari. Africa as a theme also resonated with his first Louis Vuitton show, but in this case, Jones revisits it with an unexpected punk undertone, introducing tartan checks, transparent rubber overcoats embossed with the monogram, leather collars, zips and straps. He has constructed an overlapping journey of influences into his menswear.
From the veldts of the savannah to the workshops of Louis Vuitton, with their generations of artisanal savoir-faire, and the punk underbelly of London’s anti-establishment youth, Jones riffs adroitly on each inspiration, playing these seemingly disparate trios into a concordant collection that is as interesting as it is elegant. It is no mean feat, but Jones has managed to deliver a collection for SS17 that is artistic, fresh, relevant and also, more crucially, distinctive. Here, we present four key trends to get you right on track.
1. Modern Safari
It’s the safari experience, as distilled for the modern traveller—belted four-pocket jackets and trenches, along with short-sleeve desert shirts in light-as-air silk—all well-suited to the rigours of the urban jungle.
2. Bag To The Future
The accessories are inspired by the original Monogram with two new styles: Monogram Savane Ink and Monogram Savane Dune, introduced for SS17. Our pick of heritage redone, however, is the iconic Louis Vuitton Steamer bag, Louis Vuitton’s first soft travel bag, which transits here as a handsome backpack bearing the iconic Chapman imagery.
3. Arrow In
Those familiar with Jones’ collections will notice a recurring pattern, the Karakoram design—a chevron-style print taken from the Vuitton archive, where four Vuitton patterns were used to create a fifth. First appearing in the ’20s, Jones’ deft use of the statement graphic has made it an iconic Vuitton pattern for the 21st century, along with an extremely dapper jacket print.
4. London Calling
Subversion in the form of leather collars not your thing? Fret not; Jones’ punk elements translate to exceedingly wearable individual pieces, namely tartan blouson jackets and soft, oversized jumpers, along with check slip-ons with statement brothel creeper-style crepe soles.