Louis Vuitton has embarked upon a worldwide journey around Southeast Asia, more then 15 countries to be exact with the idea to unify it’s global audience with an exotic collection of materials and prints all gathered and Inspired from a bountiful group of South East Asian countries.
Louis Vuitton’s mens artistic director Kim Jones is more of a fashion gypsy who hunted high and low to find just the right blend of inspiration and material to make this collection special. He clarifies this point: “Rather than look at one destination, this season I decided to look at traveling the world,” says Kim Jones, the Men’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton. “Now the world traveller picks things up wherever he goes and makes them his own. In this collection we are using many ideas and techniques from South East Asia, from Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. At the same time, we wanted to look at how those styles share so much globally; say how the traditional dress of the Lahu tribe in Thailand looks so much like contemporary sportswear. Fashion is a language that reflects different cultures and tribes globally from New York, Tokyo, Bangkok and Paris – and Louis Vuitton is really a part of that.”
Jones created this collection to showcase how much we humans share styles from the various cultures around the world. You’ll find exquisite, colorful unique blends in every meticulously put together piece.
He skillfully observed how people identify themselves all over the world. When Jones was in Myanmar he encountered a tribe who handmade costumes, which reminded him of modern street wear from the Eighties hip-hop scene. When in Japan, he discovered Kobe leather, which comes from the cows that produce Kobe beef where he took a tourist souvenir jacket one might pick up visiting your favorite city, transformed and cut from indigo-dyed Kobe leather (yes, the kind the makes the sumptuous Kobe beef). These cows are pampered and massaged with sake as the hides are sun-dried. “It takes months and months to make,” Jones said. “It has to dry in the sun — and it’s been raining in Japan.”
From the stripes of the LV Monogram to the silhouettes of South East Asian national dress, the runway was filled with a treasure trove of unique prints and embroidered jackets adorned with cranes from Japan, Birds of Paradise from Indonesia and monkeys celebrating his visit to China all artfully remixed together, while keeping true to the heart of the LV brand.
“Rather than look at one destination, this season I decided to look at traveling the world”
Kim Jones, the Men’s Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton.
This season, also included the Louis Vuitton Monogram, Epi and Taïga as the unifying fabrications that unite the collection from footwear to bags. Featured was a new ultra-supple canvas that makes the high-luxury utilitarian Monogram bags more lightweight and packable than ever. Footwear contains textured Epi leather this season as well as in its more traditional, structured maroquinerie; while the Taïga is reintroduced both for footwear and bag-making, adding another layer of texture to the playful leather goods.
Backstage at Louis Vuitton Menswear SS16
And we can’t forget the shows music, which was created by none other then producer by Nile Rodgers. Says Jones: “Of course Nile is a hero of mine.” “And he was perfect to work with this season as he is somebody that has crossed all boundaries with the many different artists he has collaborated with the world over. Taking those global influences, mixing them together and making a new sound – Nile’s music is a metaphor for the collection.”
Truly a unique and outstanding collection, Louis Vuitton has certainly earned their reputation.
Story By: Christian Burkholder
Supplemental Runway Image by: Louis Vuitton / Ludwig Bonnet
Supplemental Backstage Image by: Louis Vuitton / Matthieu Dortomb