Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall 2023 Men “The Desert Race”. Collection by the Louis Vuitton Studio Prêt-à-Porter Homme Fall-Winter Pre-Collection 2023. Story by RUNWAY MAGAZINE. Photo Courtesy: Louis Vuitton.
Adaptation is the mantra of the modern age. In the face of changing conditions, we weather the storms by leaning one another and collectively adapting to new circumstances. For the Fall-Winter 2023 Pre-Collection, the Louis Vuitton Studio Prêt-à-Porter Homme illustrates this transition through the metaphor of the desert race. One of the most challenging competitions on the planet, the motorsport attracts an eccentric multi-cultural cast of daredevils, who gather to brave the unpredictable terrain of the barren wasteland and its mirages before reaching the luxuriance of the oasis. An extreme exercise in adaptation, desert racing serves as an image of the diverse characters, community spirit and collective creation that drive the Louis Vuitton Studio Prêt-à-Porter Homme. The collection is comprised of two chapters: the Desert and the Mirage.
The desert race motif unfolds in a complete wardrobe adaptable to urban and recreational dress codes. Tailoring and technical pieces created in lightweight, water-proof ripstop nylon set an energetic but elegant tone for the collection: zip-adorned trousers and tops transform into shorts and short-sleeved shirts with hoods that can be hidden or exposed according to occasion. The archetypes of outerwear undergo adaptation in form and fabrication: the saharienne takes centre stage styled over cocktail pyjamas with a grid logo print that evokes check; a bomber jacket morphs with a varsity jacket and manifests in beige leather with logos; a motorcycle jacket marries a souvenir jacket in fleece and leather; and a logo-embellished sponsor jacket gets sponsored by Louis Vuitton.
The Maison’s signatures are treated with figurative desert techniques. Embossed on a suede shirt, the monogram resembles sand. A sand-strewn LV logo is emblazoned across silk and poplin shirts. On denim, the monogram appears discoloured by the scorching desert sun. Tailored jackets, bombers, hoodies and knitwear are printed with a trompe l’oeil crumbled paper motif evoking an aerial view of sand dunes. And the SpeakerMan – first featured as a look in the Louis Vuitton Men’s Show in June 2023 – transforms into a new animated mascot for the collection interpreted in a jacquard blouson and as a print on silk-blend shirts.
Shoes adapt to the eccentricity of the desert race wardrobe in a new version of the Sk8te encrusted with crystal and trimmed with distressed denim, and in a creeper-cut interpretation of the moulure-adorned Le Baroque. The Shark clog, the XL trainer, and the Tatic sneaker all appear in new colourways. Bags feature a new Spotlight motif in which the Louis Vuitton flower monogram is seen through a kaleidoscopic broken-down colour spectrum rendered across sporty shapes including a new Meteor travel bag, a new Comet backpack, and a new Comet messenger as well as small leather goods and logo-buckle belts. Jewellery manifests in pop colours and includes stackable logo rings as well as palladium and crystal charm necklaces and bracelets with the flower logo. Finally, the lightweight LV 4Motion sunglasses with adjustable technical elements appear with mirrored blue lenses.
The second chapter of the collection paints an oasis-like contrast to the sun-drenched sand dunes of the desert. It adapts motifs native to terrestrial and aquatic flora into a casual wardrobe simplified for recreational travel. An evergreen coach jacket is rejuvenated with lightweight construction and a souvenir jacket in logo-adorned leather is perforated for breathability, while a reversible white bomber jacket in leather and nylon can be adapted according to weather and occasion. A leather shirt-and-shorts suit is perforated with a swirly motif evoking the flow of bubbles.
A new pointillisme monogram – imitating the Impressionist painting technique – gives the illusion of underwater movement. It appears as a print on crêpe silk-blend shorts and shirts, in knitwear, in a jacquard bomber and a generational suit in discharged denim. Similar motifs abound in a sequined oversized tank top adorned with an algae-inspired logo, in a shirt and a cargo shirt in indigo denim feature a debossed monogram that evokes the erosion of water, and in shirts adorned with wet-look transparent print details. Styled over a matching poplin shirt and swim shorts, a satin jacket is flocked with three-dimensional underwater motifs and logos, and embellished with liquid-effect sequins. As an alternative to seersucker, a jacquard has been adapted into superlight form and employed in a khaki shorts-suit as well as in shirts and shorts with mini monogram.
Shoes interpret life by the sea: the Oberkampf combat boot resurfaces with black embossed monogram in nubuck, the Shark clog appears in navy; the XL sneaker features in blue or orange with new lace charms; and the LV Trainer is reimagined in summery stripy canvas in pink, beige or blue inspired by the lining of antique Louis Vuitton trunks. A derby in glazed leather adapts the properties of a sneaker with technical squishy lining, a padded tongue, and a rubber sole. The Mirage chapter debuts two new bag motifs: the Aqua Garden is an underwater-effect monogram printed on canvas and varnished with water-drop embellishment, which appears in crystal blue or abyss blue in a Keepall 50, 35 and 25, a Mini Soft Trunk, a Christopher backpack, and a Horizon trolley; the Washed Denim is a relief monogram evocative of sun and water erosion debossed on denim bags including a Keepall and a Montsouris backpack. Jewellery imitates marble in chain necklaces, bracelets and bolo rope ties, while accessories reflect the spirit of summer in denim bucket hats, crochet beanies, beach towels and toweling cushions.