13 posts tagged "Kim Jones"
Change seems to be the order of the day in Paris. Louis Vuitton announced this morning that Paul Helbers, who has served as men’s studio director at Louis Vuitton, is to be replaced by the English-born designer Kim Jones (left). Jones will design the label’s menswear as men’s ready-to-wear studio and style director, under the artistic direction of Marc Jacobs. Prior to Vuitton, Jones served as the creative director of Dunhill; he also showed his namesake collection at London fashion week and has worked or collaborated with companies such as Uniqlo, Mulberry, Alexander McQueen, Hugo Boss, Umbro, and Topman. The British Fashion Council has twice named the Central Saint Martins grad its Menswear Designer of the year, in 2006 and 2009.
Something about home court advantage, was it? Dunhill creative director Kim Jones is in town for New York fashion week, and he’s brought a little bit of Dunhill with him: The label has established a miniature version of its Mayfair headquarters, Bourdon House, in the Meatpacking District, complete with a video display of its courtyard foyer and looks from the Fall ’10 collection shown last month in Paris. Jones launched the installation last night with a Champagne-and-finger-foods fête for the industry; today, the public gets its chance to ogle both the new garb and select items from the Dunhill archive, including shagreen-covered lighters and personalized leather envelopes like the one Winston Churchill used back in the day. “Honestly, I can’t spend too long looking at the archive, because it just blows me away,” Jones said. “I’ve almost got too much to work with. It’s never-ending.” The pop-up Bourdon House, on the other hand, closes on February 18.
Creative director Kim Jones’s ambition for Dunhill is that it become the English Hermès. The fact both houses showed on the same day in Paris offered an opportunity to compare and contrast. Véronique Nichanian has perfected a casual, sensible luxury. Her signature look would probably be a cashmere V-neck (no shirt) under a jacket in some extravagant but muted animal skin (above). She stuck to that blueprint for Fall, but there was a quiet soulfulness to the collection, helped by the palette—also muted—of gray, navy, and earth tones.
At Dunhill, Jones had created a narrative for himself, with the story of company legend Clement Court who traveled overland from Paris to Japan in 1930 to work on the lacquered Namiki fountain pen, one of Dunhill’s most famous products. So Jones imagined clothes that would satisfy the demands of business, travel and leisure. And he was finally able to express to the fullest both sides of his design personality: his experience with tailoring and his facility with functional sportswear. Except, this time, there was Court’s story to provide a framework. So the suits were three-buttoned, sometimes three-piece, reflecting the thirties. A brown leather parka or a shearling flight jacket made me think of an indomitable English explorer. But there was no incongruous period feel. Jones kept it all light and easy, tucking suit pants into hiking socks, knocking the stuffing out of traditional fabrics. In the space of three seasons, he has also brought to Dunhill (pictured, below) the same instinct for casual luxury that Nichanian has.
The presentation was beautifully styled, but so tightly edited—a rapid-fire 30 looks—that I could have done with more, especially because Jones and his team have been applying themselves to some magical accessories. Some of them were very visible hanging from hiking belts, thanks to the tiger shagreen they were made from. Others, like the silk pocket squares printed with Court’s maps or drawings, or the stamped, addressed travel wallets (available for customizing with your own details), were tucked away.
To see all the photos from the Fall 2010 menswear shows, download our iPhone app here.