While few, including myself, can resist the intoxicating frivolity of fashion’s flights of fancy, the essential basics of a stylish wardrobe have a more utilitarian character. It is these humbler pieces – often derived from work wear, military uniform or sports gear – that Louis Vuitton’s Icons collection elevates to new levels of luxury. Preserving their functional essence, it endows them with the allure of exquisite cut, fine fabrics and sophisticated detailing.
The result: every season, a collection of pieces to return to again and again, experiencing each time the dual thrill of their unrivalled comfort and timeless elegance.
1. THE MESH
A simple sweater in a classic shade and softest cotton is sure to be one of the hardest-working items in any woman’s wardrobe. Louis Vuitton’s version comes with the added luxury of an embellished collar, hand-embroidered with Swarovski beads and LV studs. In a touch typical of the Icons collection, it can also be removed, taking a look from precious to pared-down in seconds.
2. THE TRENCH
The feather-light sensation of nylon faille – sensual as silk, but a whole lot more practical, and not merely because it’s water-resistant – plus the irresistible allure of the Stephen Sprouse leopard print, now in a new scaleddown version. Louis Vuitton’s neo-trench has all the emblematic details, from the belt (wear nonchalantly knotted) to the epaulettes, but it comes luxuriously long and with ultra-feminine bracelet sleeves. Pure silver screen glamour for the 21st century.
3. THE MACINTOSH
With its new cropped cut and cute collar, the season’s mac – the epitome of the Icons collection – holds more than a hint of the Swinging Sixties. The perfect cover-up against a spring shower, it doubles up as a neat boxy jacket. Polished gold buttons playfully reference the military, while the lining is pure Louis Vuitton: the legendary Stephen Sprouse leopard print, interspersed with mini Monograms.
4. THE JEANS
For S/S 2013, the perfect pair of jeans morphs into the must-have Capri pant. Stonewashed for an instantly worn-in feel, with a casually loose yet impeccably chic cut, it combines style and attitude. The iconic detail? The Monogram jacquard yoke, to be concealed or revealed depending on mood and moment.
5. THE PERFECTO
Louis Vuitton transforms a staple of bad-boy style into an icon of luxurious femininity. To the rugged sex appeal of the classic perfecto, this sleek design opposes the refinement of smooth stretch leather, enhanced by eloquent details like multiple zippers, signature rivets and – the quintessential couture touch – a half-belt at the back.
6. THE LEATHER DRESS
Leather never felt like this. Unimaginably supple, lightweight lambskin lends itself to the simplest yet most sensual of cuts: a dress like an oversize T-shirt that suggestively skims the body. Raw edges, diagonal zippers and military-style suede patches on the shoulders provide the modern, real-life details. Dress it up with heels or down with leggings, the leather dress – now in bold, beautiful red – remains both sporty and sophisticated.
My personal must? The red leather dress! See you at Vuitton…
Photos: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton