Ease In

In its lat­est col­lec­tion, LOUIS VUIT­TON looks to the MAN­I­FOLD STYLES that co-ex­ist in New York City.

Esquire (Philippines) - - STYLE CITY SLICK - BY CLIF­FORD OLANDAY

I am look­ing at the coin-sized hole in my fa­vorite zip-up sweater. I’ve been wear­ing it forever and only re­cently no­ticed that it has seen bet­ter days. It’s not ter­ri­ble, but not new. That fresh-out-of-the-box sheen has long dis­ap­peared af­ter years of wear­ing it every­where, throw­ing it on the back seats of cars, and crum­pling it into a ball (it’s very soft). The wide blue stripe that runs across its chest has muted and the col­lar is now dec­o­rated with tiny nicks that I sus­pect is due to overzeal­ous laun­der­ing. But the red is still vi­brant, the ribbed col­lar and cuffs still has grip, and the zip­per works. So I wear it.

Here’s how that hole hap­pened: On one manic morn­ing, I hur­riedly put on the jacket, thrust­ing my arms through its thin sleeves. I heard the crackle of a rrripp. Half asleep, I ig­nored it. It would take a week be­fore I no­ticed the hole, which was un­der­neath the left sleeve, near the armpit crease. Un­less I raise my arm, I fig­ured no one would ever see it, so I con­tin­ued to wear the mag­i­cal gar­ment that’s warm enough for the ice­box tem­per­a­tures of the of­fice and light enough for a slow stroll on a sunny day. Be­sides, the old boy was the last thing my dad bought for me, be­fore he de­cided that I was grown up enough to buy (and not ask for) things that I want.

What do you see when you look at clothes? Do you see them as the things you need to put on to shield the world from your naked and lumpy body? Do you use them as mark­ers of time in the way that no-fun trousers are for week­days and shorts are for Satur­days? Or do you as­cribe a feel­ing to them, wear­ing a worn jacket with fe­ro­cious con­vic­tion (what hole?) be­cause it just feels good?

Kim Jones, cre­ative direc­tor of men’s wear

of Louis Vuit­ton, makes clothes that you’ll want to wear again and again. The itin­er­ant de­signer has lead his au­di­ence all over the world, from the Ata­cama Desert to South Africa, the Hi­malayas to a “gar­den in hell” (the liv­ing room of Vogue edi­tor Diana Vree­land) in or­der to cre­ate a gi­raf­feprint shirt that’s not just a shirt ( he grew up in Africa) or a rope mo­tif that’s not just dec­o­ra­tion (it’s a trib­ute to his fa­vorite de­signer). This time, he lands in New York City—but not the New York of now, but old New York, par­tic­u­larly the pe­riod between the ’70s and ’90s, or what Jones calls its “glory days,” when men like Keith Har­ing, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat min­gled with one an­other.

In his ode to the man­i­fold styles that co-ex­isted in the great city, Jones un­der­scores the idea of ease.

The wo­ven leather, mo­hair, and wool of a thick sweater called at­ten­tion. The raised Vs of its her­ring­bone pat­tern in­vited a lot of paw­ing as if the piece was ask­ing you to play hooky on a rainy morn­ing. Else­where, a pa­jama shirt and pants, which were adorned with a col­lage taken from a 1930s LV ad ma­te­rial (a nod to the Art Deco re­vival in the ’70s), and the slightly large over­coat and roomy pleated pants (a ref­er­ence to the ’80s) also spelled com­fort.

Spun with down­town in mind, the roomy fit that has been sim­mer­ing in sea­sons past is used to great ef­fect here. It feels con­tem­po­rary or street-smart (not too fash­ion or weird) when done with a base­ball shirt cov­ered with the house mono­gram and the Supreme box logo or painted in a pal­ette of grays, tans, and blues.

The loose pro­por­tions also give the clothes new­ness. The shirt, the pants, the jacket—th­ese have re­mained more or less the same for decades, but if you shrink or blow up, twist or elon­gate then the fa­mil­iar is re­born as some­thing fresh. Ev­ery­thing is loose and fluid, soft and slouchy, which just trans­lates to an ap­pear­ance of no ob­vi­ous ef­fort like that old red sweater that you reach for over and over again, be­cause it makes you look and feel good.

Some­times clothes are magic, some­times they have mean­ing, some­times they are just clothes—cool, easy, and beau­ti­ful but clothes none­the­less, and that’s just fine.

NICE THREADS Clowk­wise, from be­low: a hy­brid sta­dium jacket pays trib­ute New York style; Louis Vuit­ton’s fall 2017 men’s wear col­lec­tion pre­sented in Taipei; a pa­jama set uses a print from an old LV ad ma­te­rial; per­son­al­ize your lug­gage and back­packs with patches.

THIS WAY PLEASE Fi­nally—and for the first time—Louis Vuit­ton’s ready-to-wear col­lec­tion for men is now avail­able in its new su­per-sized store in So­laire Re­sorts and Casino.

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