• Text  Dean Mayo Davies
  • Photography Alexandre Sallé de Chou
  • 27th June 2013

On the road

Kim Jones has made travel his leitmotif for menswear at Louis Vuitton. That’s as honest, and appropriate, as you can get. The designer spends much of his time living out of a suitcase, and this is a house of very fine ones.

This season the Londoner let loose with the mythology of the American road trip, travelling from the East to the West Coast. “The clothing should have that dowhat-you-want attitude. It’s a road trip drawing on elements of classic American culture from clothes, music to souvenirs,” the designer explained. “It’s the changing environment from city to forest to desert; that journey in a day from snow covered mountains to cacti in the desert that you can only really seem to have in America. Like the radio you listen to as you travel through the states.”

Playing today was a medley of R.E.M, Jones embracing the opportunity to use the music, which has spanned decades, ingrained in US pop culture, of his friend. What adds to the emotion of this show is its attendance by the designer’s friends who hop on the Eurostar for the day and support: Mandi Lennard, Jones’ PR from his own-label days; Fashion East’s Lulu Kennedy; Kinky Gerlinky and  World (Archive) impresario Michael Costiff; Britain’s next acting great Russell Tovey. And Jones’ new pal, drawn together as ex pats in Paris, David Beckham.

The clothes? This might be the best Vuitton menswear collection yet. We say  it every season, yes, but we won’t apologise: KJ is on fire, hitting his stride at a house with the endless resources to do justice to his imagination. There were total-look bandana-print shirts, blankets and neckerchiefs; American plaids fused into double-faced silks, harringtons with varsity badges. A tuxedo had mother of pearl monogram inlay. We’d travel far and wide to hunt those pieces down, droptop and AM radio or not.