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Louis Vuitton Menswear S/S12

Kim Jones brought his sportswear influences to a new form of luxurious and wearable pieces together with nomadic African inspirations

Some of the suits and the travel theme at Kim Jones' first menswear show for Louis Vuitton were reminiscent of his tenure at Dunhill, but the sheer sartorial quality and the way in which Jones delicately transformed his sportswear DNA into a luxurious version of wearable and functional casual-wear made yesterday's fashion event into an early highlight in Paris. Drawing on influences from his nomadic upbringing in Africa and mixing them in with Vuitton's well-documented knack for travel-friendly clothes made for an excellent show. The styles were relaxed and wide in their reference points; we saw casual sweat T-shirts in terry cloth, sailor-inspired anoraks, loose ties, cropped trousers and thinly pinstriped suits.

Luxe looks - most notably a mohair tee and a black snakeskin bomber - nicely contrasted against Jones' belt-detailed jacket and safari-style outfits. But the biggest nod towards the designer's love of Africa were the gorgeous (and most certainly next summer's colour combo trend) blue and red check scarves and tops. The bright colours were offset against light beige tones for maximal effect. Kim Jones, under the artistic direction of Marc Jacobs, yesterday gave Paris something to talk about, and it was all positive chit chat. 

Dazed Digital: Great show Kim - what was the starting point for you?
Kim Jones:
I was looking at the jet set in the 60s; people like Peter Beard. But it was also the idea of going native. I grew up in Africa for parts of my childhood and I was looking at reference points from that time, but really the collection is about travel.

DD: Yes, we saw a few Safari looks in there, so they are part of the African heritage?
Kim Jones:
Yeah, but they are super luxe, not like anything else out there, whether it's suede or silk it's taking it to the extreme luxurious levels.

DD: Can you say a bit about the red and blue scarves...
Kim Jones:
It's a Massaï blanket that I had as a kid, and I looked at it one day and thought it was a perfect Damier check, but one in cashmere...

DD: Do you have a favourite piece?
Kim Jones:
Quite a lot, like the varsity jacket, the Massaï scarf and many many other things!