Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring 2011
PARIS, June 24, 2010
For his new collection, Paul Helbers, men’s studio director for Louis Vuitton, imagined a digital bohemian traveling the world via his computer screen, composing an eclectic personal style with no boundaries. Helbers’ “head trip,” as he called it, incorporated hints of a pan-global sensibility into a look that was still very Louis Vuitton—quietly luxe clothes for the well-heeled contemporary traveler.
As promised by the helicopter roar that launched the show, the journey was less head trip than pond skip across a range of references: a little Chinese quilting; some abstracted animal prints; a suggestion of extreme sports in a laced parachute jacket or a cream quilted fencing jacket; a bit of safari in a curry-colored camp shirt. Though restraint is generally his byword, this modern adventurer does occasionally want to break out, as in an eruption of parakeet green that disrupted the flow of neutrals.
Certain items were treated with extreme prejudice, like a leather jacket “tattooed” with undulating grooves, or a parka that had been “sun-distressed” to seersucker translucence. True, these were subtle flourishes, but that is Helbers’ strength. Who knew that self-belting pants could be such a source of fascination? They are when he designs them with such precision. And as for the footwear: Not for the first time, it was the highlight of the collection.