Louis Vuitton F/W 2016

Austere, yet opulent, rigorous yet rather arty

Thursday’s menswear collection from Louis Vuitton was the house’s latest ode to the importance of travelling with style – in this case, rather severe, and frequently logomania style.

Vuitton’s menswear designer Kim Jones certainly loves the house’s many brand logos, what in semiotics are called signifiers. From Damier to the circular emblem used on the first Vuitton delivery wagon from its Champs Elysees store. Jones took its script and transferred it to silk chokers, rugged pony skin Eisenhowers, sweatshirts.

Logomania at the LV men’s show

Jones does posh travel though with a large dose of realism, and in the darkest of palettes: mink belts dissected his topcoats; his trench coats came in shaved beaver. But his waistcoats were of battered leather multi-pocketed and worthy of a Dickensian plumber.

Jones recreated an art installation he discovered in Tokyo by Shinji Ohmaki, so the Parisian glasshouse where LV stage men’s shows became a minimalist box topped by a childlike, billowing soap balloon. The music was dramatic and the set impressive; yet somehow the show lacked emotion. Oddly on a day when the UK released its report on the Litvinenko murder case, the cast recalled austere Cold War spies. The models make up looked composed for androids.

Trench coat in shaved beaver

Ironically, Jones had finished this collection before seeing the important Volez, Voguez, Voyagez exhibition in the Grand Palais.

“It was really weird. I was pleased to see that the logo we used – the one on the first Vuitton delivery van – was the one we had picked for the show even though the collection was completed long before I actually saw the exhibition on Jan.11,” said an ebullient yet exhausted looking Jones post-show.

The print was inspired by the “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez” exhibition at the Grand Palais

Though he did manage to send out a pair of black silk PJs covered with the Grand Palais show’s title.

“What I was thinking was, what from this show could go in a Vuitton exhibition in 100 years time,” shrugged Jones. At which point, CEO Michael Burke quipped: “We’re already planning for 2115!”