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Friday, June 26, 2009

Paris Men's Week: Louis Vuitton

Maybe it's because Marc Jacobs has been baring his tanned legs in skorts lately that Louis Vuitton studio director Paul Helbers has picked up on menswear's current bike vibe in such a big way that he dedicated the entire spring collection to New York messengers—or, as they refer to them in the show notes, "Gentlemen Papillons" (butterfly men). Nigerian singer Keziah Jones, who I discovered I'm in love with after the Yves Saint Laurent show, was back, sitting right across the runway from me and looking sublime in a T-shirt, trilby and skinny suit with contrast edging, no doubt from LV because similar models showed up for the show's finale.

This was a great collection, an about face from all that triple-ply luxury LV has specialized in up until now. It's not that these clothes are any less elegant, but they're younger, less concerned with luxe and more interested in young men in their physical prime. The standouts: taxi-cab yellow racing jackets in washed linen, rolled-cuff shorts, a Taiga leather bum bag, an ottoman nylon trench coat, anything in tricky tech fabrics, a braided straw hat with a reflective band and those keychain necklaces worn with everything—even suits.

—Rebecca Voight

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