Kim Jones' natural habitat is the open road—he has terminal itchy feet. For him, the ultimate luxury is the freedom to up and go. Louis Vuitton, the company he works for, has a rather different approach to luxury. But their points of view have proved extremely compatible in the two years since Jones became style director of Vuitton's Men's Studio, working under the artistic direction of Marc Jacobs. The reason is simple: Kim and Louis both like to travel well. And today's show offered another 41 reasons why.
That's because it took 41 looks for Jones to road-trip across America. Or maybe make that 41 archetypes: preppy, broker, frat boy, gas jockey, scout, hippie, greaser, trust fund baby, and so on. In each case, the style was touched by the Vuitton ateliers. Tie-dye became something sumptuous and dark, rather than a muslin boiled up on the stove by an earth mother. The scout's cotton drill parka was archly sewn with badges and souvenir pennants announcing his mastery of all things Vuitton, and the coat's elbow patches were crocodile. A pastel prom jacket was woven from kimono silk. The varsity jacket was silk, too, and a denim jean jacket was actually suede.
Effortful though the production process may have been, there was a natural ease to everything, which the styling of the show emphasized. Wall Streetready suits were worn with casually knotted bandannas. Sporty outerwear wrapped slender tailoring. Look closely and you might notice clothes pegs attached to lapels. Jones was thinking of the ordinary little things you pick up as souvenirs (Vuitton's come in sterling silver and mahogany).
The last outfit was an evening look, with a jacket whose luminous LV jacquard glittered like fireflies. Its natural habitat would be a Palm Springs patio or a penthouse in Vegas. Not exactly the open road. But the fact that Kim Jones can relate to the individual who would crave such a thing—and might that be David Beckham, in the front row today?—just as well as he'll relate to the next tribesman he runs into on the veld is the foundation stone for the future of the Vuitton man.