CHECKMATE: Spring is here and Louis Vuitton is set to "checkmate" fashionistas this season with its geometric Spring Summer 2013 collection of ready-to-wear and accessories. A number of Hollywood stars, including Kirsten Dunst and Kerry Washington, have already fallen for the infectious sixties Mod looks and according to creative director Marc Jacobs, the bold checkerboard pattern at LV is more than meets the eye, writes Cheong Phin
JUST as with the repetition of dots from Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama in her collaborative project with Louis Vuitton this time last year, artistic director Marc Jacobs created his own this year with a repetition of checks for the LV Spring Summer 2013 collection.
The result is a geometric checkerboard pattern that not only coincides with the 125th anniversary of the French house's iconic Damier (a checkerboard pattern first introduced on canvas trunks in 1888) but was inspired in part by the conceptual artist Daniel Buren and his work Les Deux Plateaux -- a series of 260 columns of three different heights arranged in a grid within the great courtyard of the Palais Royal in Paris.
It was a marked contrast to the previous season, with the romantic making way for a mathematical play of checks on ready-to-wear, shoes and bags. A fundamental duality underpinned the collection where each checkerboard grid is met with two contrasting colours or textures; between shiny and matte or presence and absence by way of cut-out squares on dresses. Even the seasonal floral print was tweaked into large abstract forms in mirror-image dual tones.
Interestingly, this is also the first-ever LV collection where the monogram was nowhere to be seen, relying instead on the strength of the Damier checkerboard squares as a symbolic reminder of the luxury brand.
Using a colour-popping palette of yellow, green, black and white, Jacobs designed each look strictly from the perspective of an architect's elevation with sleeve heads offering the only deviation from the straight and narrow. He also scaled the squares to varying sizes and textures on the clothes and accessories to give them a starkly graphic quality.
Minimalistic shift dresses in mini, midi and maxi lengths alternate with cropped jackets and bandeau tops teamed with lean pencil skirt or slit-maxi skirt to channel a sixties Op Art pop mood while the pointed shoes are long and straight with metal triangular heel.
For all its simple lines and bold blankness, the collection still brims with precise tailoring as evidenced by the perfectly matched blocks of squares at the seams or pocket details as well as labour-intensive embellishments for which LV is famous. The tiniest sequins, for example, were arranged by the thousands to create fluid metallic surfaces and the slightly larger paillettes stitched in precise grids to create shimmering geometric textures.
A bevy of stars have already been spotted in this collection. They included Kirsten Dunst in a long dress with an open back; Chinese actress Fan Bing Bing glistening in a yellow sequinned dress; Jessica Alba and Kerry Washington exuding ladylike elegance in midi dresses with pointed heels and, supermodels Miranda Kerr and Arizona Muse showing lots of legs in different versions of the mini dress.