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LOUIS VUITTON • Spring/Summer 2017

By Duty editor ● March 1, 2017

Africa, as the home of modern civilization, is the inspiration for Louis Vuitton’s Spring – Summer 2017 collection. It is also a metaphor – of a return to roots, to heritage, to formative influences to the blueprint. Asserting your identity.

 

These themes are explored literally and figuratively. Africa is constantly present, a heartbeat under the collection, combined with the rebellion of London Punk and the emblematic savoir-faire of the Maison. By its very nature, the journey between these different destinations and influences evokes the spirit of travel, which is very essence – the blueprint – of Louis Vuitton.

 

 

Africa is evoked through rich, intricate textile treatments, exotic skins, a menagerie of animal prints. In a continuation of his first Louis Vuitton show about his childhood in Kenya and Botswana, Kim Jones, Men’s Artistic Director revisits Africa today, expressing notions of the safari and the gentleman traveler. The palette is dominated by Savannah-bleached shades; jackets have Saharienne detailing.

 

 

“There’s always something a little London hidden somewhere, though. This time it is the influence of Punk – albeit via Africa, where Frank Marshall’s “Renegades” portrait series of Botswana biker gangs in heavy leather depicts the fusion of two disparateaesthetics. Add a third, the French elegance of Louis Vuitton.” Says Kim Jones.

 

 

Punk brings edge, transparent rubber, mohair, zips and straps, all infused with African pattern and finished with the Maison’s unique techniques. Louis Vuitton’s second commission with Jake and Dinos Chapman surrenders four prints depicting twisted animals; their veldt is the Vuitton Monogram. Mohair is knitted to imitate animal markings, and zebra patterns are colored in a petroleum blue. Footwear especially draws on Punk themes, parachute straps forming sandal designs and crepe soles added to laced brogues.

 

 

There are unexpected connections between these elements. The utilitarian details of Punk tie the movement to Vuitton’s heritage as a trunk-maker, a practical streak; tartan walks hand-in-hand with Maasai checks; the hand crafts of Africa link to French savoir-faire. Textiles are intricately realized: multi-coloured, paper-thin leather is woven like baskets; while a mesh is hand-wrapped with strips of Monogram in a quartet of colours, four Vuitton patterns creating a fifth, the Karakoram design.

 

 

Exotic skins are vital – connecting Africa to Paris, while the biker jacket evokes Punk. Zips are added to Punk pants; crocodile and ostrich are used for coats and jackets, as well as key Vuitton accessories. They are polymorphs, crossing boundaries and evoking the trio of inspirational starting-points.

 

 

The accessories make a literal return to roots – the origins of the Monogram itself. Two new iterations, the Monogram Savane Ink and Monogram Savane Dune, are based on the blueprints of the toile, trademarked in 1896. The iconic Louis Vuitton Steamer bag, the first soft travel bag, is reinterpreted as a backpack, whilst heritage styles are drawn from the archives like the Randonnée bag, as well as from the leather goods.

 

 

Original, yet new: all are updated, reinvented, using textiles from the collection to highlight the synergy between clothes and accessories. A series of trunks underscore the themes of the collection, in animal hides and prints or laser-etched with Chapman imagery, like a preparatory drawing for collection’s prints.

 

 

That is a summary of the approach of this collection. Travelling back to the blueprint, the essence, using the old to create something new.

 

Source : Louis Vuitton (Thailand)

 

 

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