Paris Fashion Week: Louis Vuitton makes it Werkstätte


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Reporting from Paris -- Last season it was New York City bike messengers, a year ago it was African royalty, and this time around, Louis Vuitton men’s studio director Paul Helbers and artistic director Marc Jacobs found their inspiration in Vienna -- specifically the Vienna of the early 20th century, and a community of architects, artists and designers known as the Wiener Werkstätte (which counted Franz Kafka and Egon Schiele among its members).

‘They had a kind of artist’s wardrobe,’ Helbers told me backstage after the show. ‘That could be dressed up or dressed down, it was very versatile.’ Helbers said it was not just the artists of the movement that inspired the collection, but the architecture and even the street signs of the time -- the latter of which was the source of a pale shade of neon green that cropped up in a few pieces including a puffer jacket.


The versatility was apparent in equestrian-style boots that unzip into a shorter style, coats that unzip at the yoke to allow layering under other pieces, and emphasis on layering overall.

When it came to accessories, only one of the traditional all-over LV monogram style bags could be spotted; in its place was a single, stark capital V’ (which had also appeared on the luggage-tag-shaped show invitations.) I asked Helbers about whether that was a conscious decision in a time of more stealth luxury.

‘There is a time and place for that,’ he said. ‘But for something like this it needs to be discreet.’

Instead, the designers chose to telegraph the luxury factor in a more subtle way: Three of the bags were hand painted with landscapes, forests and clouds by German artist Christian Schoeler, swirling, soft, watercolor-like light purples, moss greens and rust shades against white backgrounds, which provided the perfect counterpoint to the collection’s predominant color palette of blacks and browns.

-- Adam Tschorn More Photos from the Louis Vuitton AW10 Men’s Runway Collection Coverage of Paris Fashion Week

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Louis Vuitton Men’s AW10 Runway Show in Paris from Adam Tschorn on Vimeo.