Peter Helbers looked to New York for inspiration to inject this collection with bright lights.
Even though Marc Jacobs has fought hard to keep all his shows on schedule since That Incident, the Louis Vuitton SS10 show ran 30 minutes late. But it wasn’t so much his fault, and let alone his Studio Director Paul Helbers, the man responsible for this collection. No, it was more down to the chaos caused – pre and post show – by American super R’n’B group Black Eyed Peas, who’s job it was to fill the gaping void left by Kanye West from last season. There was catwalk chaos for a while, but LV has always been a hot ticket, American bling stars present or not, and it’s not so much to do with Vuitton being trend setting, but more about being the ultimate definition of pure luxury and class.
This time around, Helbers looked to the hustle and bustle of New York City for inspiration. Through the speakers came the Big Apple’s soundtrack; car horns, shouting, police sirens, jazz saxophones and, of course, Velvet Underground. The scene was set, cue an army of jackets in Taxi Cab Yellow and light-weight coats in a bright red, representing stop lights. Utility was big throughout, and a fair few models had detachable hoods strapped on, others sported belt bags. A reintroduced Taïga collection meant leather goods were a plenty, but the over-sized rucksacks blended in nicely with the theme.
We also saw jackets in all shapes and colour; cropped ones, silk tuxedos, the classic LV M65 inspired jacket with multiple pockets and trench coats covered in abstract prints. Marc Jacobs’ Louis Vuitton always make an impression, and SS10 didn’t fail, but it always come down to one thing; this is more about style than fashion. At the end of it, Dazed Digital stole a few words from Helbers.
Dazed Digital: What was the main idea behind Gentlemen Butterflies?
Paul Helbers: I wanted something that was sportswear related, and that’s where the bike messenger idea came from. They come from all over the place, live in New York and bring elements with them from where ever they’re from, mixed in with hi-tech pieces from New York
DD: How would you describe it?
Paul Helbers: It’s kind of an active and dynamic silhouette but in a very elegant way. But some is also roughened up a bit, which makes it suitable for travelling.
DD: Was there a particular mood in the collection?
Paul Helbers: It’s cool, relaxed and about doing whatever you feel like doing, so there is a very positive and liberated feeling in there.
DD: Why did you call the collection Gentlemen Butterflies?
Paul Helbers: That’s what I call the bike messengers. We took inspiration from their wings, like jacket and shirt collars and so on.
DD: What’s your favourite piece from this collection?
Paul Helbers: I really like the biker blazer, which is like a traditional blazer that has been re-cut in a way that almost looks like a sports jacket. It’s one of my favourite items this time around, I would wear that all the time. But I also like the sequined shoes!
Photography by Giovanni di Nunzio.