The Magic Mountain. This season sees the Vuitton traveller, always journeying both literally and metaphorically, venture to the magical mountains of the Himalayas, particularly to the Kingdom of Bhutan.
“A collection is often an actual journey for us; it comprises what you take with you and what you bring back both physically and mentally from the experience”, explains Kim Jones, Louis Vuitton’s Men’s Studio and Style Director, working under the Artistic Direction of Marc Jacobs. “This season involved travelling to the Himalayas for research and it was the mountain Kingdom of Bhutan that still had that mystery surrounding it; it was almost a fantasy idea as well as a real place. Backpacking has not ruined Bhutan – you have to be invited there – and it feels so exotic, almost from another time. It is the only place in the world where snow leopards and tigers cross paths and that is one of the reasons why the snow leopard became a chief motif in the collection.”
The bags for Fall/Winter 2013 play very much on the traditional notion of maroquinerie. The large grained Taurillon leather also makes a new appearance this season. The Lockit bag here makes its debut for men suitably oversized and also finds its counterpart in giant totes. Backpack shapes are frequently utilized and run throughout, even featuring in a cross fertilization with a Vuitton trunk to be carried on the back. Here the recognizable Monogram is eschewed, instead reverting to the traditional trunk material, leather. Branding is subtle this season in the bags, most frequently appearing as a shaved “V” in the shearling pieces.
“For Louis Vuitton’s Autumn-Winter 13-14 collection we were commissioned to create our own interpretation of a French baroque floral print. Using hand painted watercolour artworks from our archives, and inspired by the intricacies of Himalayan traditional arts, we added twisted and surprising elements to the creeping floral design; subverting and reinventing the classic.”
This season sees Kim Jones commissioned the artists Jake and Dinos Chapman to supply key motifs in the collection. “I sat down with Jake Chapman and we talked through the idea of a Garden in Hell”, says Jones. “This was the phrase Diana Vreeland famously used to describe her apartment. It was something we both responded to, that and all of the unusual animals to be found in the Himalayas.” The motif appears in this season’s textiles, shoes, accessories and bags. Almost like the Chapman’s own spin on the Buddhist idea of “wrathful deities”, fearsome talismanic protectors from evil and a bridge between the natural and supernatural world this season.
Size: 11″ x 4.7″ x 10.6″
Colors: Gold, Taupe
A practical capacity and numerous pockets make the Reporter bag the ideal companion for daily city life. Its durable Samara leather gives it an additional air of sophistication.
Reporter features an adjustable and removable shoulder strap, leather trims and handles, a rear external flat pocket, and palladium finished brass metallic hardware. Inside, the bag has 2 interior flat pockets, and finally it’s lined with microfiber lining.
Samara Lockit Voyage
Size: 18.5″ x 14.5″ x 9.8″
Whatever the task – long distance travel or daily city use – the Lockit Voyage tackles it with élan. Thanks to its grained Samara pigskin leather, the bag always feels robust and firm to the touch.
Lockit Voyage features an adjustable and removable leather shoulder straps, leather trims hand handles, palladium finished brass metallic hardware, 3 interior pockets, and microfiber lining.
Taurillon Lockit Voyage
Size: 18.5″ x 14.5″ x 9.8″
Whether used for travels or for the city, the Lockit Voyage carries off its duties with panache. Soft and supple Taurillon cowhide leather means the bag looks and feels as elegant as it is generous in size.
Lockit Voyage features an adjustable and removable leather shoulder straps, leather trims and handles and palladium finished brass metallic hardware. Inside, the bag has 3 interior pockets, 1 zipped, 1 double and 1 for a tablet, and lined with lush microfiber lining.
Size: 17.7″ x 13″ x 4.7″
Styled in a way recalling nomadic lifestyles and mountaineering, the Messenger Shearling is a remarkable bag . Not only is it supremely practical but its sheepskin material is completely bewitching. Messenger features an adjustable cowhide leather shoulder strap, palladium finished brass metallic pieces, microfiber lining, 3 interior pockets, and a D-ring.
Shearling Cabas Haut
Size: 15.7″ x 15.7″ x 9.4″
Travel takes on a whole new pleasurable dimension with the Cabas Haut. In lush Shearling sheepskin, adorned by the iconic V symbol of the house, it makes a bold statement in comfort and style. Cabas Haut features a leather carrying handle inspired by classic Stokowski trunk, it comes with an adjustable and removable leather shoulder strap, variable snap closures so bag shape can be altered, palladium finished brass metallic pieces, and microfibre lining. Inside, there are 3 interior pockets, 2 for smartphones, 1 for tablet.
Size: 15.7″ x 10.2″ x 23.6″
Adding new levels of luxury to a simple concept, the Backpack offers pure confort thanks to its Shearling sheepskin covering. Its reinforced back and shoulder straps are also lined with soft wool felt.
Backpack features a leather carrying handle inspired by the classic Stokowski trunk, a flap and leather closing cord for secure closure, 3 external zipped pockets, 2 on the side and 1 at the front, palladium finished brass metallic hardware, 3 interior pockets, 2 for smartphones and 1 for tablet, and finally, the bag is lined in microfiber lining.
Garden in Hell
Garden in Hell Tuffetage Sac Weekend
Size: 21.7″ x 17.7″ x 11.8″
A voluminous travel bag like no other, the Sac Weekend in soft calfskin suede leather is truly unique. Only 10 are being produced, showcasing its mesmerising Jake and Dinos Chapman illustration.
Sac Weekend features a zipped closure with uniquely numbered lock, palladium finished brass metallic hardware, reinforced leather edges, calfskin suede leather lining and 2 interior pockets, 1 zipped and 1 for a tablet.
Garden in Hell Tuffetage Cabas North-South
Size: 17.7″ x 7.8″ x 21.2″
Images via Louis Vuitton