Showing in the same venue as last season, Paul Helbers, studio director for Louis Vuitton was inspired by a concept he described as 'Bleisure' lifestyle (business and leisure) - meaning a mix of casual and formal clothing ideas. Referencing Vienna's cultural community of artists from the early 20th century, including Franz Kafka and Egon Schiele, Helbers took their clothing and loosely translated them for a contemporary market. Constructed on layering, Helbers presented tailored, waisted clothes with short jackets and long formal coats. The palette of graphite, brown, grey and nude was formal and restrained - as the clothes typified Vuitton's approach to fashion. Luxurious, minimal and with a distinct appreciation for practicality, the collection did not provide any suprises but blended into LV's polished sensibitily. For a collection referencing artistic notions on dressing and their lifestyle, it was remarkably refined and pristine. The beautiful matt tortoise coloured walls that flagged the runway represented perfectly this carefully constructed aesthetic. The collection also communicated the essence of travel for the brand with luggage inspired by military and utility styles. Continuing on the art trail German painter Christian Schoeler hand painted bags with dreamy landscapes, forests and clouds. Army boot clogs were studded and patent laceups hosted a metallic sole. Exquisite clothes that were impeccably presented left you feeling that luxury, although marvelous, could sometimes benefit from a more artistic and experimental approach. But don't knock LV, the quality and make of their clothing sets an incredibly high standard for Paris menswear. For his curtain call Helbers was clapped around the runway by artistic director Marc Jacobs - sporting a tartan skirt/ shorts combination. Maybe that's more what Egon Schiele would have looked like.
For a collection referencing artistic notions on dressing and their lifestyle, it was remarkably refined and pristine.