Louis Vuitton Cruise 2014 Collection

The iconic image of the effortlessly chic French woman pervades Louis Vuitton’s 2014 Cruise Collection. Forever cool, always carefree, at times couldn’t-care-less, she values style over fashion – and her own style is simply the expression of how she feels and who she is.

If she wants to wear a man’s coat over a floaty summer dress, then that’s exactly what she’ll do – indeed, Louis Vuitton pushes the idea further, drawing inspiration from the lining of a classic overcoat to create a fluid wrap in double-face cashmere, which she ties nonchalantly over a crepe dress with an artfully faded floral print. The men’s wardrobe provides rich pickings for a woman who loves to confound expectations, as when she shrugs on a white satin blazer over a simple chambray sundress, finishing her look with the season’s chunky clogs. A signature Louis Vuitton tweed is combined with leather and cut into a boyish trouser suit. She slips her bare feet into a pair of flat loafers and – voilà! – she’s good to go.

The essential simplicity of her style is captured in her penchant for the collection’s new take on the suit: an ample T-shirt paired with a miniskirt. There’s nothing simple about the execution, however, as one such ensemble is crafted from duchesse satin with a jacquard motif of tiny dots reminiscent of men’s ties. Likewise, the humble marinière is reinterpreted in mink, while an airy floral-print dress, which sensually slips from her shoulder, is re-embroidered with tiny jet beads. Though what she wears may be precious, the way she wears it is anything but – a rock ‘n’ roll attitude summed up the studded embellishment on an acid yellow dress in fluid crepe.

Her idiosyncratic approach extends to accessories. Her favored shoes are mostly flat: slippers in leather or denim, barely-there two-strap sandals, ankle boots with a studded heel, and slip-on clogs. Her watchword is comfort, since she has the confidence to pull off even the most unlikely combinations. For evening, she sometimes switches to a higher heel, choosing two-tone sandals with a pointed toe and sexy cut-outs to reveal her bare skin.

The season’s star bag is a reinterpretation of the Fall/Winter 2013 show’s crocodile pochette, this time in sublimely supple taurillon leather. She wears it casually slung across her body, or carries it folded – just so – in her hand. Likewise, Louis Vuitton’s iconic Sac Plat. For evening, the simple shape of a toilet bag, rendered in an exotic leather patchwork, becomes a glamorous clutch, epitomizing her carefree Bohemian style.

Images via Louis Vuitton