For Louis Vuitton’s Autumn-Winter 2011-2012 collection, Men’s Studio Director Paul Helbers, under the artistic direction of Marc Jacobs, has explored the ultra simplified elegance of Amish style and instilled it with a hint of strangeness, inspired by David Lynch.
Describing this unique pairing of Amish design elements with Lynchian overtones, Helbers evokes an unworldly boy wanderer as he discovers America. «We have gone back to cut and construction which is why this collection is almost all black to emphasize shape and technique. Jackets are sculpted around the body almost like shields. The intrigue comes in contrast materials like rubberized, matte Macintosh with metallic python and sun bleached wide wale corduroy in unexpected combinations that take on a new beauty.
In the Amish tradition, buttons are replaced by more discrete hook and eye closures, shapes are curved and covering with scoop necks, and sleeves have a back pleat. As a boy grows to manhood, he borrows elements from his parents wardrobe. There are martingale waist insets in silk and velvet for dress jackets and coats. And, instead of worn traditionally knotted at the neck, ties softly belt jackets and pants, or loop around like a scarf. Knits are tailored like jackets, and woven tailoring mimics knits, or even Amish macramé, for an overall softness punctuated by sharp, tailored details. The Amish mix and match tradition shows in band collar shirts and jackets patched in stripes, on the sides, or sleeves. Sun bleached wide wale corduroy supplies a homespun element in loose, dad’s pants, or as a trim on bleached beaver jackets.
For the evening, a silver pigmented Moonsilver suede, gives an otherworldly glow to the stripe quilted body-tracing blouson, and the jacket in Frayed Monogram dévoré velvet with a needle punch pattern and hand embroidered sequins captures the essence of wandering luxury.
The predominantly black tone of this collection is lit with flashes of Motel Red and matte and shine contrasts. Even denim is double dyed black with hand-painted bleach tracing along seams for a «caught in the headlights» look. And the new bleeding check, and other muted patterns, give a soft, blurry impression in coats.
Iconic bag styles are presented in the new permanent leather, Damier Infini an ultra-soft and high quality leather embossed in signature check. The Keepall, the Neo-Greenwich and the Porte-Document de Voyage are showcased on the runway in Motel Red, Glacier Grey and Anthracite.
In addition to this new leather statement, brief cases and small satchels adorned with trunk locks, reproduced from vintage Louis Vuitton models, are coming in elephant print leather and in classic Nomade soft leather, Monogram canvas or patent alligator.
Check out the full collection in the gallery below. And the details + backstage photos in this post.
• Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2011/2012 Menswear Collection – Details
Images via Now Fashion