In his four years at Louis Vuitton, the style director for menswear, Kim Jones, has helped to firmly established the Parisian brand as a global menswear player with a casual luxury aesthetic.
For the 2016 precollection, Jones showcases his undisputed love of travel by connecting it with flags. Popping up as the unofficial signature graphic print of the season, the motif appears in the form of unique incarnations of various recognisable LV logos such as the Gaston V signature, which is a play on the French flag, and the LV signature ensconced in a circle.
This flamboyant graphic print is reiterated unexpectedly and sporadically throughout the range of apparel: from a bold short-sleeve baby blue shirt upon which the print runs amok and which is at once playful yet serious in its buttoned-down severity, to accessories such as a highly covetable pair of leather-and-canvas loafers, and a scarf.
Another distinct albeit more diffused graphic abstraction is the digital Ikat, which was achieved using a mix of traditional techniques with modern technology to create a subtly textured yet eye-catching motif with gradating colour nuances that lend a modernist aesthetic.
Jones used the print, which from afar resembles a restrained tie-dye effect, for a casual but smart short-sleeved printed shirt, and also for a nylon parka with generously-sized safari-style front pockets that can be cleverly cinched at the waist for a sleeker silhouette (PHOTO: Look 22).
Trunk stripes also appear to also be a recurrent motif in the blue-, white- and taupe-heavy collection, appearing as an unmissable thick white line across pieces such as a crew neck, a delightfully cool and functional technical banner blouson, and also on of a pair of nylon swim shorts.
This conceptual thread ties the collection together with a straightforward coherency, alongside the judicious use of technical fabrics and soft tailoring that expounds a relaxed nature, ensuring that the pieces are not just sophisticated, but also wearable.
Leather, as always, features prominently too in the collection. The varsity leather jacket, with its dual-tone of chocolate and caramel executed in strict lines, somehow manages to inject a traditionally casual style with an unexpected degree of finesse and urbanity.
The same goes for the mix colour racer jacket that takes away the hardness of typical biker jackets and replaces it with a certain subdued elegance in the way the leather conforms to the torso.
Also complementing the apparel this season are the Damier Graphite Karakoram Accessories. Karakoram is one of the first patterns created by Louis Vuitton in the 1920s.
Since Jones re-edited this traditional piece for the 2012 Fall Winter show, the Karakoram pattern has been frequently employed for various collections and surfaces this season as a print on four small leather goods in vivid colours of blue and yellow.
See the first post about exclusive highlights from the Louis Vuitton Men’s Precollection SS16 here.