Kim Jones and Nile Rodgers rang in the AmeriChina trend at Louis Vuitton in Paris on Thursday as the shows got their global on.
louis vuitton spring/summer 16
If the Milan men's shows zoned in on a certain globalisation in fashion, Paris defined it. More specifically, the second day of shows in the fashion capital painted a picture of America vs. the Far East - of Americana vs. orientalism - led terrifically by Kim Jones, who had the most fun he's ever had on the Louis Vuitton runway. As Zayn Malik and Kanye West and a number of local Asian superstars looked on, Jones effortlessly flexed his traveller's muscle in silk blousons fusing American varsity wear with oriental decoration. American hero Nile Rodgers was at the mixing table, introducing his soundtrack before the show kicked off. It was a pre-mixed medley of his best-known credits - from Le Freak to Like a Virgin - and the perfect soundtrack in the creation of Jones' Chinatown pimp.
For the designers of the West, and especially houses such as Louis Vuitton, the challenge to conquer even larger parts of China and the Far East persists, and for everyone who's tired of hearing about it, Jones' collection could be seen as a sort of cheeky comment on the globalisation of the world. In other words, America and China aren't further apart than they can meet in a fancy baseball jacket. Of Chinese descent, American designer Phillip Lim is walking, biological proof that West and East can meet in sweet harmony. His collection crossed the Ivy League with military wear, but amongst the Yankee tunics and that lone biker jacket, there were more than a few nods to the Chinese silk suit, if not the tangzhuang, to be spotted.
This was designers reminding us it's a small world, even if the Chinese are about to take it over, and maybe that's not such a bad thing in the end. They do a pretty mean embroidery, after all. Japan, of course, took over the fashion world long before their Far Eastern neighbours, and these days Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto are as Parisian as they are Japanese. Perhaps that's why Yusuke Takahashi looked to tropical settings rather than distinctly Far Eastern ones for his take on the global trend. His collection of 'chic parrot' prints, as the show notes called them, was great and mad, and a kind of trippy comment on this season's love of all things touristy and travel-oriented.
Text Anders Christian Madsen
Photography Jason Lloyd Evans