A giant black and white floor-to-ceiling photograph of the Matterhorn surrounded by fog graced the entrance to the Louis Vuitton men’s show inside the Grand Palais. This grand image asked the audience to take a metaphorical trip to the Alps or whatever destination or ‘Magic Mountain’ the imagination fancied.
For his fall 2013 show, Vuitton studio director Kim Jones continued his journey around the globe. Now, the Himalayas–in particular the Kingdom of Bhutan–provided the visual cues for a collection that featured broad shouldered silhouettes, reverse-shearling coats adorned with Everest-stone buttoning, boxy parkas, navy puffers, and double breasted dress coats in a faint leopard print.
This sense of adventure and travel has always been central to the brand’s heritage. Here the modern gentleman mountain climber came down from the steps of the Himalayas in the brown and navy stripes of Bhutan’s national dress.
Part of Louis Vuitton’s newer heritage under Jones has been to collaborate with artists to create special, original products for the brand. This season the designer brought in English artists Jake and Dinos Chapman, known together as the Chapman Brothers, to create the wild floral patterns (a print that mixed traditional Himalayan art together with those wild animals native to the mountains) that closed the show on silk jacquard smoking jackets. Jones called the prints a “Garden in Hell.”
While, as in seasons past, the collection veered towards traditional suiting and tailoring, dramatic prints (see: the “Garden of Hell print, the leopard print dress coats) and an intarsia sweater featuring a double-headed lion upped the fashion quotient.
Traveling in the mountainous Kingdom of Bhutan for Jones meant carrying a single large shearling luggage-backpack combo. For those who don’t actually travel to great distances or exotic destinations, a Chapman print extra large weekend bag may be the ultimate accessory come fall. Not to mention the shiny black hiking boots.