On the hottest day in Paris in 145 years, we stepped out 37-degree heat to find the Louis Vuitton spring 2018 menswear show under plastic sheeting at the magnificent Palais Royale. Before the show started everyone scuttled under the scarce shaded borders, fanning themselves and gulping the complimentary ice-cold water — a real tropical moment before Louis Vuitton’s menswear artistic director, Kim Jones, gave us his own tropical moment.
In the notes, Jones spoke of Hawaii and a book that someone gave him called Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Not Visited and Never Will, quipping that in fact he had visited almost all of them. Which is precisely the client that Louis Vuitton has, magnified in modern times. We live in a world that is so completely accessible now, and this mash-up of feelings and culture is the reality that we drink in every single day, so it was only natural that Jones would want to address this in the collection. The island as a singular entity allowed him to riff on the notion of singular pieces, an idea so appealing to his loyal fan base, who sat with their on-season monogrammed clutches and signature jackets.
Standout Hawaiian shirts in layered organza, reflecting the liquid nature of the island’s borders, were grounded in our more Western reality by super-lightweight ponchos in ripstop nylon. Multiple variations on scuba pants showed us that Jones’ man, though living the island dream, was ready and willing to dive into the ocean at any moment.