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Louis Vuitton Explores its Wild Side

Christina Garofalo

After traveling through Bhutan last year, Louis Vuitton’s men’s studio and style director, Kim Jones, decided to create a collection inspired by the Vuitton traveler—not just through the brand’s signature totes and trolleys, but through garments that would capture the spirit of his destination. The brand commissioned the British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman to reinterpret French baroque floral prints that incorporated the mystery of the Himalayas. The result is a fall ready-to-wear collection that comprises bold, colorful silk-and-cashmere suits, coats, and accessories, designed to work equally well in sets and as separates.

Animals were a major source of inspiration for the collection by the Turner Prize–nominated Chapman brothers, whose work has been known to weave cultural references into surprising and offbeat visual narratives. Snow leopards jump out unexpectedly from Louis Vuitton’s silk bow ties, while the velvet teddy-bear evening slippers featured in our fall fashion edge toward the macabre. Prices range from $155 for a pocket square to around $20,000 for a travel case.

The designers channeled animals in a more literal sense as well, utilizing a broad range of skins and furs—including astrakhan, shearling, beaver, fox, and reindeer —overtly and discreetly, tucked inside the linings of coats and bags. A woolen topcoat, for instance, features mink fur sewn in the shape of a leopard’s spots, creating a subtle relief with a needle-punching jacquard technique developed exclusively for the collection. Even the classic LV travel bag has gotten a redux—with the Chapmans’s whimsical creatures embroidered onto red leather—designed to entertain a new generation of travelers. (866.884.8866, www.louisvuitton.com)

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Photo by Ted Morrison