Show report: Louis Vuitton A/W’12

Marc Jacobs sealed his reputation as fashion’s premier showman today

Marc Jacobs sealed his reputation as fashion’s premier showman today – hours ahead of the opening of his retrospective Louis Vuitton-Marc Jacobs at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris – with a spectacular show that took six weeks to construct.

As the clock on the faux platform struck 10am (well actually a few minutes past but we’re not quibbling) a full size navy blue Louis Vuitton steam train rolled into the Cour Carree du Louvre, puffing dry ice into the front row and carrying with it a carriage of dressed to the nines passengers.

As each model descended she was joined by a white-gloved porter carrying her bags which ranged from sheared fur Speedys to box leather vanity cases to shimmering oversized hold-alls.

The collection itself was packed with highly desirable pieces – a vaguely 30s by way of the 70s elongated silhouette dominated with opulent jackets or coats layered over long skirts and cropped kick flares.

Jacobs slowly ramped up the embellishment from lustrous geometrics to metallic brocade suits to incredible crystal embroidered dresses and coats.

Skirts were paired with lurex twinsets and oversized jewelled buttons appeared on coats and trouser hems. Each model wore a matching Belle Epoque style silk bonnet topped with ostrich feathers.
 
The last time any designer had the chutzpah to stage a show with a real steam train full of ornately dressed models was when John Galliano presented his autumn/winter 1998 Diorient Express.

Today’s show was a potent reminder what Jacobs could have done had he taken the Dior job – although even with the couture house’s rich history today’s show made you think why would he? Travel is so deeply embedded in Louis Vuitton’s rich history – and with it Jacobs can roam wherever he pleases.

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