How do you follow what was potentially the most hyped fashion show ever? With Drake of course! Forget Supreme, that’s so last season. The new way of Kim Jones flexing his muscle and entrenching the mite of Louis Vuitton was by recruiting one of the world’s most successful and zeitgeisty recording artists to create a song especially inspired by the collection and then debut it at the show. The message? We’re Vuitton - we can work with anyone and everyone.
Everyone should want to wear Vuitton too, after this stellar collection. The critics were out, especially given the opinion-dividing collaboration of last season. But Jones is a confident designer and he chose wisely to do exactly what he does best - an elevated spin on sportswear and a festival of travel references. Jones totally has the travel bug - that’s why his Vuitton collections feel so authentic. He’s actually visited the far flung locations he draws inspiration from. Today, he was thinking of island life, hence the obvious surf references. Indeed, this was much more sport than sportswear - leggings and rash vests could have been lifted from the activewear aisle. Prints and graphics added a contemporary edge. Jones has proved himself a master when it comes to branding, text and typography. While Vuitton graphics are used conservatively in the womenswear shows, here they come alive, twisted into various new guises that feel modern, witty and smart. Think back to the many ways he’s reinvented the Vuitton name - from the now ubiquitous Volez, Voguez, Voyagez to his playful use of the 'Louis' single name. He’s chocked models with branding before - putting logoed scarves tight around their necks for S/S 16. Here, Jones offered a new updated take on the look with tight highneck tops with the LV stamp in the centre of the collar. They'll fly - as will the joyful Hawaiian shirts.
He talked of the Louis Vuitton name being like a sports team slogan. How apt when you think of the thousands who follow the brand’s every move, keen for their own small slice of the pie. Kids today worship brands just as much as teams, and Jones understands this keenly. His approach will be vindicated when the tens of thousands start queuing for those Supreme pieces from last season. With that collection, so much attention was focused on the hook-up that the collection itself - a singing tribute to New York and one of Jones’ best - was under-reported. Here, even Drake couldn’t be the main act. The clothes sung and rightly stole the show.