The new Louis Vuitton collection was basic black in palette and mood, appropriate given that Paul Helbers, who heads the menswear design team, was inspired by the monochromatic dress sense of the Amish and the disturbing oeuvre of David Lynch. That recipe for a split personality was served on a runway wreathed in shadow, to the tune of Roy Orbison's "In Dreams" (which, after its appearance in Lynch's Blue Velvet, probably still soundtracks some people's nightmares twenty-something years later).
One central conceit of the collection was the doubled jacket, as in a lush shearling that trailed an attached leather parka like a tail, or a jacket that had a puffa vest built into it. One suit left its vest dangling in back. It was part of an ensemble—jacket, pants, shirt, and dangling puffa—in a flaming vermilion the polar opposite of the somber shades that otherwise dominated proceedings. The show notes called it Motel Red. And the splits just kept on coming.
A Motel Red blouson unzipped to reveal a peek of quilted black leather (Lynch's motels concealed dark secrets, too). The footwear was schizophrenia in a shoe. And the final evening jacket in dusty black dévoré velvet looked well and truly worn in, almost Amish in its sobriety, bar the sprinkle of sequins that added a sparkle of sin. It was the last flicker of light in a suitably strange parade.
Fall 2011 Menswear
January 19, 2011 Paris
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